Meet Pig Dude.
He is the flavour of the month here and Ike’s new favourite book character. He really does idolise Pig Dude. In fact, it’s become common at home for Ike to call out, “Look Mum!” as he sidles down his nappy ever so slightly to show me the top of his bottom, “Just like Pig Dude,” laughing with pure joy and mischief.
In all honesty, I was mortified when Ike first pulled down his nappy. We were in The Little Bookroom just after a special school holiday storytime. But I take no responsibility for Ike’s latest shenanigans. I completely and utterly blame author, Michael Wagner, who inadvertently pointed out Pig Dude’s bottom on every page while he read to the kids!!!!!!!!
Sounds dreadful doesn’t it? Quite the contrary actually. Michael is a consummate author and entertainer. He had the children, and their parents, absolutely enthralled. Children were eating out of the palm of his hand, laughing at every page turn as Michael read from his newest release, Pig Dude- He can Do Anything. And, as for Ike, if my kids are thinking about books and talking about characters, then I call that a WIN!
Pig Dude – loose pants aside- is far from an undesirable character. He is completely lovable. The endpapers tell us that Pig Dude had been abandoned as a baby and adopted by a loving mother who encourages Pig Dude to do anything. Filled with encouragement, Pig Dude sets out to fly, and actually achieves some degree of success.
The reaction of the children as Michael read the story proves that Michael is onto a good thing. He seems to genuinely understand what makes kids tick and what makes them laugh… boys in particular (without meaning to be stereotypical). But I must point out that girls enjoyed the book as much as the boys. Pig Dude is full of silliness and nonsense and unbelievable acts. They’re the kind of acts that have kids turning the pages of the book so quickly, searching for MORE. In fact, if it was possible to capture slapstick comedy in a book, I’d say Michael has done just that.
Silliness aside; despite foiled plans, a careless flock of birds and a wayward arrow, Pig Dude forges on and demonstrates to our beautiful youngsters the values of creativity, self-belief and persistence.
This is essentially a book for early-independent readers. Short paragraphs, large font and coloured illustrations help it bridge the gap perfectly between picture books and chapter books.
Ike simply loves his signed copy.
Author: Michael Wagner
Illustrator: Adam Nickel
Publisher: Billy Goat Books, 2015
Age recommendation: 4-8
AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE AT THE KIDS’ BOOKSHOP
Other (coloured) illustrated early-reader books we love:
The Boris series by Andrew Joyner
The Cleo Stories by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood
The Little Rockets series (New Frontier Books)
Ruby Red Shoes by Kate Knapp
The Figaro and Rumba series by Anna Fienberg and Stephen Michael King
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