From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 3-In this paean to pork puns, Palatini presents the story of Stanley Snoutowski, a young pig who longs to see his name in lights. Encouraged by his friend Mary, he moves to New York City and experiences the typical struggles many young actors go through: cattle-call auditions (with actual cattle, of course) and jobs waiting tables and driving a cab, until his big break-a chance meeting with the legendary Broadway producers Hoggers and Hammerswine. From then on, Stanley is a star, in productions of South Pigcific, The Pig and I, Pigmalion, Pork Chop on a Hot Tin Plate, and, finally, Hamlet. The color cartoon illustrations mesh well with the text, especially the promotional material for Stanley's plays. But the story as a whole is problematic. Readers expecting a connection to the classic nursery rhyme will be disappointed, as that link is quickly dropped. While the Broadway story is clever, many of the puns are unlikely to be appreciated or understood by the audience, and those who do understand them are more likely to groan than laugh. For aficionados of pigs and puns only.Ellen A. Greever, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Gr. 1-3. What if Mother Goose goofed, and Mary had a ham
rather than a lamb?
Enter Stanley Snoutowski, a pig who craves the limelight. Stanley struts his stuff for Mary, but they both know he's destined for something bigger: Broadway! Once there, his pride is dealt a few solid blows, but Mary's unswerving faith in him and Stanley's own gumption help him rise to stardom. Palatini milks the pig premise for all its worth ("spigtacular!" "snoutstanding!"), and her verbal showboating ("he pondered his portly profile") does get a little tiresome at times. However, Francis' artwork is a hoot: he spoofs familiar Broadway posters and depicts primping thespians in a "cattle call" scene that winks at the triumph of vanity over indignity. Fans of Palatini's energetic storytelling will welcome this felicitous new pairing, which will work well with Robert Kinerk's Clorinda
[BKL N 1 03] for an eccentric storytime about livestock aspiring to stardom. Jennifer MattsonCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved