From School Library Journal
Kindergarten-Grade 2—This adaptation lacks the cleverness of the traditional British tale, the humor of Paul Galdone's 1960 version, and the fun of Eric Kimmel's 1992 offering. Old Woman goes "Jig jog jig jog jiggety-jig!" to town to buy a fat pig after Little Boy finds a penny. (Will anyone believe that she can buy a pig for a penny?) On the way back, the creature won't cross the bridge, so the old woman asks a dog to bark at the pig, a rat to nip the dog, and, finally, a cat to worry the rat. When the cat agrees to help, the other animals do their thing, and they all end up across the bridge and home with the little boy in time to dance a jig by nightfall. MacDonald has cut out some of the action of the original and watered down the story so that the tale seems rather pointless. There is a faint attempt to add some rhythm through the repetition of several lines, but the pace is uneven and sounds forced. Kanzler's animals are so friendly looking that one wonders why they refused to do the old woman's bidding in the first place.—Martha Simpson, Stratford Library Association, CT
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About the Author
Margaret Read MacDonald is a storyteller, author, folklorist, and children's librarian, whom School Library Journal has called "a grand dame of storytelling." Ms. MacDonald is the author of numerous books, including pickin' peas, illustrated by Pat Cummings, and the award-winning book The Parents' Guide to Storytelling. She lives in Kirkland, Washington.