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Julius Hardcover – March 1, 1993
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From Publishers Weekly
In this exuberant celebration of love and sharing, Maya is given an Alaskan pig and learns that friendship is a two-way street. Johnson's humorous, upbeat text rings with its own rhythm as it introduces Julius, a pig with a fondness for old movies, trying on clothes ("anything blue and stretchy") and eating peanut butter "from the jar, without getting any on the ceiling." As Maya shares Julius's version of fun and games, so the clever porker learns from Maya "that even though he was a pig he didn't have to act like he lived in a barn." Pilkey's ( When Cats Dream ) illustrations are a felicitous departure for this gifted artist. Painted in blocks of fluorescent color, his paintings zing with the joy of living and perfectly capture the book's infectious carnival spirit. A small but enchanting detail is his assortment of patchwork squares, decorated with patterns and posies, which appears as wallpaper and frames several scenes. Jubilant and subtly instructive. Ages 3-6.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Kirkus Reviews
The author of When I Am Old With You (1990) and other celebrations of loving companionship teams up with the mad colorist of When Cats Dream (1992) for a tale of a black family that finds itself saddled with a huge, exuberant pet. Maya has always wanted a horse or an older brother, but her traveling Grandaddy brings her an Alaskan pig instead (``Something that will teach you fun and sharing''). Like a teenager from hell, Julius romps through the house munching on junk food, dropping crumbs, listening to loud music, and staying up till the wee hours. He and Maya are inseparable; and as he teaches her how to dance to jazz records and eat peanut butter right from the jar, she firmly teaches him table manners and cleaner habits. Using ink, paint, fabric swatches, and even coffee spatters, Pilkey creates a riotous sequence in which Maya's happy face contrasts comically with her parents' glowers while her adored pink friend floats with bulbous grace. (Picture book. 4-7) -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Top customer reviews
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The illustrations are very engaging -- brightly patterned bits of cloth, some creative distortion of perspective, etc. The African-American family looks like it was modeled on real, living individuals -- a refreshing change from the generic white-person-colored-black look.
This is a great picture book for those of you who are tired of the pastel world of books for the under-7 set.