Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Hogwood Steps out: A Good pig Story

Hogwood Steps out: A Good pig Story

Howard Mansfield
Illustrator:   Barry Moser 
Picture Book
Roaring Brook, 2008   ISBN: 1596432691

Winter is finally over and Christopher Hogwood, who is a large black and white pig, is ready to get a little fresh air and some sun. He has been in the pigsty for too long and he is ready for a change.

Christopher has no difficulty getting the gate of his paddock open. After all, he has opened it many times before. A chain, numerous latches of various kinds, and a rope cannot stop this determined pig.

Not long after getting out Christopher picks up a very tasty aroma on the air. Somewhere nearby there are lettuces growing and Christopher is eager to sample the delicious young leaves. He is quite unfazed when the owner of the lettuces shows up. The man does not look best pleased to see the six hundred pound pig in his garden but Christopher is not worried. He and this man have had many encounters before and Christopher knows how to avoid him.

Readers will be hard put not to laugh out loud as they read this book. Pig lovers will rejoice and pig owners will instantly recognize the wily intelligence of Christopher Hogwood because they have seen it all before in their own animals. Told from Christopher's point of view, this story is refreshingly straightforward and undemanding. We follow Christopher as he takes his little walk and we delight in the fact that this very handsome porcine person ends up doing just what he pleases despite human efforts to interfere in his affairs.