Dick King -Smith’s written and Anita Jeram illustrated All Pigs Are Beautiful is a book that celebrates pigs in all their glory. Our story teller adores pigs of every kind. He makes it evidently clear when he says,
“I love pigs. I don’t care if they’re little pigs or big pigs, with long snouts or short snouts, with ears that stick up or ears that flop down. I don’t mind if they’re black or white or ginger or spotty.
I just love pigs.”
Of all the pigs the author has met, he has a special soft corner for a white, black-spotted, flop-eared pig called Monty. Monty seemed to have it all. Ten wives, a mud pool to wallow in, grub at correct intervals and a scratch between his ears on top of his head. The last action after a full meal brought about a change in Monty.
“His eyes, with their long pale lashes, would close in ecstacy and slowly close in ecstacy and slowly his hindquarters would sink down until he was sitting on his bottom like a huge dog. Oh, this is lovely you could hear him thinking. What more can life offer?”.
This passage is sure to bring to mind memories of a lazy Sunday in the minds of te little reader. A long bath, a delicious, heavy lunch later with their heads bobbing gently into their mums lap or fathers shoulder into a deep nap would have him/her ask the same -” What more can life offer?”
The author explains that pigs like being talked to, and he called sows Mummy or Mother – as herders of their large litter. He tells us how to decode the pigs grunts could mean:
“How kind of you to admire my children” or
“Scratch a little harder, please – up a bit, a little to the left, down a bit, yes, that’s it! or
“Well, yes, actually you’re not the first person to call me beautiful”
The book while amusing also educates the reader about pig traits and farm life.The author warns us not to take with pigs because they bite pretty hard.An interesting fact is that pigs are actually quite neat, never soiling their nests. They are also similar to humans in anatomy – their heart, liver, kidneys being very similar to humans.
Anita Jeram’s illustrations are so charming and wonderful to look over. She brings alive each pig’s personality. Monty will remain etched in our mind, resting on his hindquarters with his long eyelashes closing in pure joy.
This book is for parents looking at informing and sensitising children to their fellow travellers on the third rock from the sun.
“All Pigs Are Beautiful” informs children that beauty comes in many forms and sizes but for the author the most beautiful of all are his porcine pals.