From School Library Journal
PreSchool-Grade 2—Mansfield has written a short, loving reminiscence of Christopher Hogwood, a well-loved pig adopted and raised by him and his wife, naturalist writer Sy Montgomery. The Good, Good Pig
(Ballantine, 2006) details their life with Christopher from a tiny runt carried home in a shoebox to the huge (700-plus pounds) hog whose loving personality deeply touched their lives and the lives of their hens, their neighbors, friends, and even strangers. In this story, the huge hog lets himself out of his comfortable pen and goes on a spring jaunt, enjoying some lettuce in a neighbor's garden; rooting a winding trench through a lovely green lawn with his flat nose; then scaring away the backhoe operator with his congratulatory bellowing. Finally, bribed with an apple, he allows the town policeman to lead him home. Moser's realistic double-page watercolors introduce youngsters to an endearing, bright-eyed pig whose obvious enjoyment of the small pleasures of life in his rural village is contagious and childlike in its naïveté and sincerity-possibly the reason that Moser has placed himself in the role of policeman. Mansfield's story provides insight into realistic porcine character and behavior in a most enjoyable format.—Susan Scheps, Shaker Heights Public Library, OH
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Christopher Hogwood, the 600-pound, black-and-white pig featured in Sy Montgomery’s memoir for adults, The Good Good Pig (2006), makes his picture-book debut as a personable narrator. The text is short and appealing. After spending the winter in a cozy barn snuggling with the other barnyard animals, Hogwood is itching to get out and wallow in some good mud. Unfastening the gate is no challenge for him, so off he goes to a garden with fresh lettuce, only to be run off by the angry gardener. Next he tears up a lawn and gets chased off. Finally, he’s apprehended by a policeman. Back, cozily asleep in the barn, Hogwood dreams of the next crops that he’ll raid, expressing the sentiment, “God bless gardeners.” Completing the appealing package are bold, full-page, realistic watercolors featuring handsome Hogwood, usually front and center, in a lush setting. Children will cheer for the unruly, unrepentant Hogwood. Grades K-2. --Randall Enos