From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2–Sylvia Jean, a piglet, is always in costume, whether visiting the dentist, attending school, or gardening with her mother. Everyone in town is used to seeing her dressed up, so when the announcement for a costume party with a grand prize for the best outfit is posted at the grocery store, Sylvia Jean is considered a shoo-in. All week, she conjures up and discards ideas. As the pressure mounts and everyone keeps quizzing her on her choice, she locks herself in her bedroom, where she is in tears. Suddenly, she smiles. When the event rolls around, no one recognizes her until she speaks up, as she is wearing the most spectacular costume of all–she is dressed as herself. Happily, she wins the grand prize–a trunk filled with costumes. Ernst's familiar, homey illustrations fill the pages with a lovable little pig surrounded by warm pastel colors outlined in black. An enjoyable tale that subtly shows how special it is to be true to oneself.–Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Middle Country Public Library, Centereach, NY
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PreS-Gr. 2. Few can match the flair of little piglet Sylvia. For every activity, she has a perfect costume. When Mom gardens, Sylvia wears a bee suit; at the grocery store, she shows off a headdress of cascading fruit. When a local shop announces a costume party, a thrilled Sylvia resolves to find the perfect disguise. "It will be my best costume ever," she promises her piggie friends. "You'll never recognize me." As the day approaches, though, Sylvia is without an idea, and she takes to her room in tears. Then she hits on the one costume no one will expect: she goes to the party as herself--and wins the prize. Ernst's lively text bounces with dialogue and rhythm, while the Easter egg-colored illustrations extend the humor in detailed scenes of expressive Sylvia and her wild ensembles. This is a good choice for costume-shy children anxious about Halloween as well as young dress-up fans, and like Amy Schwartz's Begin at the Beginning
(2005), it sends a reassuring message about exploring creativity and overcoming creative blocks. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved