Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Porky and Bess

Porky and Bess

Ellen Weiss, Mel Friedman
Illustrator:  Marsha Winborn 
For ages 6 to 9
Random House, 2010   ISBN: 978-0375854583

Porky and Bess are best friends, but in many ways they are not at all alike. Bess likes everything just so, while Porky is quite happy living in a messy home. Porky likes to live alone and he is not very fond of children, whereas Bess has three very active and often mischievous kittens in her life. Sometimes Porky simply “doesn’t get” his friend; why does she want everything to be “perfect” all the time?

One morning Porky wakes up and he discovers that it has been snowing. Bess and the kittens come around to invite him to go skating with them. Though Porky does not want to skate he goes along, and soon he is sitting next to the pond watching Bess skate. Bess is a wonderful skater, and after she executes a perfect “backward triple flip,” Porky finds himself admitting that there are times when doing something perfectly really is a good thing.

In this delightful beginner reader children get to meet two very unlikely friends; a very large and untidy pig and a petite and very meticulous cat. The differences between them are often funny and children will find themselves smiling, if not laughing, at their adventures. Best of all children will discover that being different doesn’t mean that two animals (or two people) can’t be friends.