From School Library Journal
Grade 1-3–Hubert, who looks like a cross between an elephant, a pig, and a goat, lives on Farmer Jake's Processing Farm with many other pudges–all of them waiting to be carted off to the meat factory. Hubert manages to escape this fate and runs off to the jungle, where he meets wild animals and eats as much as he wants–eventually becoming big enough to give the elephants pudgeback rides. But still sad about the friends he left behind, he leads the jungle animals on a rescue mission, frees all the pudges, and persuades the farmer to change careers. Jake joins a health club, loses his belly, marries his trainer, and opens a tofu hot-dog factory, where the pudges help out and are paid in cobwebs (their favorite food). Everyone lives happily and healthily ever after. The illustrations vividly portray Hubert and the pudges' adventures, relying mainly on greens, pinks, and yellows. This is clearly a message book and it's not always logical. Purchase only if you're desperate for picture books on vegetarianism.–Judith Constantinides, formerly at East Baton Rouge Parish Main Library, LA
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Drescher, known for his strange creatures and skewed, often gruesome view of the world, takes this tale down a more socially correct path--though not without the requisite quirky details. Hubert is a pudge--a pig with purple polka-dot horns and a long nose that curls just like his tail. Pudges have short, unhappy lives, ending at Jake's Pudge Processing Farm, where the result is "greasy food products." The only freedom they experience is during the yearly barn cleaning--and that's the day Hubert escapes. Life is good, and with lots of food and fresh air, Hubert becomes "supchunky-nrmous." His new size gives him the strength and courage to return to the farm and save his fellow pudge pals. He also has a word with Farmer Jake, and before someone can say "Whole Foods," the pudge-processing farm turns into a tofu mill. Amusing and edgy, the artwork features some memorable scenes, including a purple-tinted, two-page spread showing rows of penned pudges. There's more than fun here; message accomplished. Ilene Cooper
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