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Hubert the Pudge: A Vegetarian Tale Hardcover – October 10, 2006

4.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; 1st edition (October 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763619922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763619923
  • Product Dimensions: 10.1 x 0.4 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew T. Hickman on August 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book does a fine job of walking the delicate line of not watering down the darker side of the meat industry without over villifying the people involved or painting too grim a picture. The illustrations remain consistently colorful and vivid. Further, this book gets across two of the most important issues surrounding factory farming: it is inhumane and diets composed of mostly meat are unhealthy. Hubert does a very good and subtle job of challenging our common beliefs about animals, demonstrated keenly by the front cover which shows that all the common meat dishes like lamb chops, ribs, and so on are actually parts of a once living breathing animal. This is the kind of book that fosters compassion for animals without invoking animosity towards meat eaters, the best kind of animal awareness book for children.
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I was a little hesitant to read this to my 3.5 year-old upon first opening it. Hubert is an odd-looking blend of animals, but his similarities to a pig do stand out. My daughter took note of that right away since we have a pot bellied pig companion. I didn't want to worry her with a dark tale that would make her fear for our pig, Elsa. It did look like Hubert would be a bit dark, but surprisingly, it was quirky and nice instead.

The story starts out on a factory farm where pudges are crammed together in dismal conditions. One day a year, pudges are let outside while their confines are cleaned. That is when Hubert makes his escape and runs off to the jungle. He is very scared all alone that first night, but in the morning he makes friends with all the animals that had been making the scary sounds through the night. At this point, there are already a few important lessons. The first shows the reality of meat production by using just enough fantasy that it doesn't freak kids out. The second lesson is to hold onto hope and watch for opportunity. Next, be brave even in new and scary places. And finally, just because someone is different than you or different than what you are familiar with doesn't mean that they are bad. Hubert was scared at first, but he got passed that and made friends who helped him when he needed it most.

So Hubert lives in the jungle and is able to grow to full pudge size. Which happens to be humongous. In fact, he can give elephants rides on his back with ease! Hubert is pretty happy most of the time, but he hasn't forgotten the other pudges on the farm and sometimes cries about them. One night, it overwhelms him and he decides that he must go back to the farm and save them.
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I'm practically a vegan, but I have to say that I found this tale to be too scary for my little son. The pudge characters are a little too scary to look at and the story was a little too on the nose. I retuned the one I bought.
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The story line is a little silly...it'll get some laughs from your little one.
The illustrations are unique. I like the subtle approach to factory farming.
My daughter is still very young and I know that these are important conversations to have with her later on...this book is a great way to bring up the subject without all the gore.

Over all it's a cute & funny book about Hubert and his little adventure into freedom and compassion.
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Format: Hardcover
My 5 year old loved this tale and I laughed. A whimsical and light fairy story that is fantastic for encouraging conversation around issues of how we treat animals and what we eat. Sure it is anthromorphising animals but that is a staple of childrens picture books. It isn't morally heavy and could be read (in a satirical light) by those over 8. Good stuff-perfect edu. tool for sensible discussions regarding how and what we eat.
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Two thumbs up for this book! It's a great book to teach children about the plight of animals in factory farms. Good message and holds their interest!
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I bought this book for a vegetarian friend of mine to read to her grandkids. This book is delightful, and funny, with a little tougue in cheek humor just for grown ups.
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This book is creative and fun and shadows on factory farms in a very light way for younger children. It is not scary or sad! Kids love this book and it's a great gift for baby showers, Birthdays, and any holiday. Hey, you might even like it as an adult!
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