Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pippin the Christmas Pig

Pippin the Christmas Pig

Jean Little
Illustrator:  Werner Zimmermann 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 7
Scholastic, 2004   ISBN: 978-0439650625

Pippin the pig is feeling very foolish for she does not know what Christmas is and the special day is tomorrow. All her friends in the barn explain how their distant relatives were present at the very first Christmas and how each animal on that day so long ago gave the new baby a gift. The cow’s ancestor gave the baby her manger to lie in; the sheep’s family gave the baby wool to line the manger. Poor Pippin still has no idea what Christmas is all about for no one has bothered to tell her the story of the first Christmas. Worse still she is told that "Christmas has nothing to do with pigs" and that a pig would have nothing to give. As the pigeon puts it: "Pigs have nothing worthy."

Poor Pippin. She cannot bear to think that a pig was not part of the first Christmas so she goes outside into the snow and the cold. Hurt and discouraged Pippin is determined to leave the barn and all its unkind occupants. She needs to find a place where pigs are appreciated. It is while she is out in the snow and wind that Pippin discovers others who are far worse off than she is and being a good hearted little pig she sets about helping them. She also teaches the snobbish residents of the barn a thing or two about the meaning of Christmas.

This unique story about the first Christmas and a pig who has so much to give is both powerful and full of the holiday spirit. Pippin’s generous and loving heart is a gift to all who read her story. Werner Zimmerman’s glowing and luminescent illustrations are a gift in themselves and beautifully compliment the text.