I've been teaching a summer school reading class to 5-7 year-olds (1 week left!), and in preparation for the class, I borrowed a lot of children's books from the library. I love children's literature... I think I might have to start my own personal collection sometime soon.
Anyway, here's a book that was a childhood favorite of mine: Small Pig by Arnold Lobel. I love this book -- especially the illustrations -- so I thought I would share some of the highlights...
The story opens with Small Pig relaxing happily in the mud. But then conflict occurs when the obsessively clean farmer's wife decides to clean up the entire farm. Of course her compulsive behavior includes vacuuming up Small Pig's mud. (I LOVE her vacuum cleaner!)
Small Pig runs away from the farm on a quest for mud, or something as soothing and satisfying as mud.
Eventually he makes his way to the city. A great line: "'Even the air is dirty here... there is sure to be some good, soft mud nearby.'"
He soon finds some mud (but -- shhhh! -- it's actually wet cement!).
Small Pig gets stuck in the "mud," and soon all the city folk have gathered to stare at him.
A closer look at small pig. You can't help but feel for him here... doesn't his little face make you want to cry?
Eventually the farmer and his wife find small pig. I love the expressions on all three of their faces...
In the end, firemen are able to bust Small Pig out of the sidewalk, and he returns safely to the farm, where fresh mud is waiting for him.