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The Pig Who Ran a Red Light Hardcover – March, 1999

4.9 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This be-yourself tall tale shows how a barnyard animal resolves his identity crisis. Impressionistic illustrations, composed of multicolored squiggles and daubs of watercolor, set the scene at a sun-dappled farmhouse with leafy summertime trees and purple hills in the distance. Here lives George the pig, a friend of Gertrude the flying cow, star of Johnson's The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down. Gertrude effortlessly soars through the air, plays the piano and drives a tractor. George's attempts to do likewise meet with less success, as the title indicates. Grandmotherly Miss Rosemary, the farm's spry, white-haired overseer, tries to discourage George ("Just because Gertrude is a silly nincompoop, doesn't mean you have to be one too") and finally has a "long talk" with the gambolling cow. The next day, Gertrude snorts and wallows in the mud, showing George how much fun it is to be a pig. Johnson, who styles the characters as a close-knit family, restores George's piggishness. Yet the author doesn't question Gertrude's mixed messageAbeing bovine isn't good enough for her. The cow prodigy does as she wishes, which will likely strike a chord of recognition for those who live in the shadow of accomplished older siblings. Nevertheless, Johnson tries to suggest that the pig has enviable qualities, too, and humorously concludes the book with a goose aping George by practicing her "oink, oink." Ages 4-7.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 2-Johnson, who regaled readers with The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down (Orchard, 1993), returns with a sequel that is equally hilarious. "Ever since Gertrude [the cow] had taken up flying, there had been no living with George [the pig]," this story begins. It seems George is determined to do all the things Gertrude does, such as taking to the skies, driving Miss Rosemary's farm truck, and playing the piano-all with disastrous results. Miss Rosemary decides something has to be done, and she and Gertrude have a long talk. Soon, Gertrude is acting like a pig-rooting in the ground, squealing "Oink, Oink," and wallowing in the mud. At first puzzled, George finally gives a giant "Weeeeeeeeeeeee" and, in a lavish double-page spread, dives into the mud. Relieved, Miss Rosemary says, "Cows are cows, and pigs are pigs...And that's a known fact." But the last page hints at something more as Magnolia the duck, who has been an interested bystander throughout the fray, stands tall, wings out, and declares "OINK, OINK." The story's silliness will delight children, who will find the animals' antics downright funny, while a subtler level of humor will appeal to a slightly older crowd. Watercolor illustrations have an appropriate down-home look, while the characters' well-executed expressions and postures bring life to this affable tale.
Barbara Elleman, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 and up
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Orchard Books (NY) (March 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0531301362
  • ISBN-13: 978-0531301364
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.8 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #827,619 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on September 1, 1999
Format: Library Binding
This is an amusing book with great kid humor, and a punch line to remember to be yourself. Nice addition to any library for grade level K-3
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A Kid's Review on March 19, 2005
Format: Library Binding
This is a crazy book for all ages. It is about one huge accident that is made by just one pig! One old lady has a crazy pig that can do crazy things. If you read this book you will laugh for the rest of your life. This is a crazier than a fox playing the clarinet!! This is a great book you will love!

By, Ryan
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Format: Library Binding
This book sends the message to kids that you cannot be something you aren't. As hard as you wish and try, you still are yourself and you have to learn to accept it. If you are always trying to be like somebody else, no one sees the real you.
George the pig is always trying to be like Gertrude, the multitalented cow. He goes too far and finally realizes (with a little help) that he should act like a pig, not a cow.
I think this is a great book for kids to read with or without a parent. The illustrations are very colorful. My favorite character was Gertrude (the multitalented cow). I would recommend this for anyone to read.
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Format: Hardcover
Paul Brett Johnson's imaginative adventures with Miss Rosemary and her farm-full of precocious animals just keep getting better with The Pig Who Ran a Red Light. Playful watercolor illustrations and country-toned jargon add up to adorable fun for all ages, and especially "those who have sometimes wished to be somebody else." I think I got as much of a kick out of this delightful book as my nearly-three-year-old himself, and we liked it even more than its fun-filled predecessor, The Cow Who Wouldn't Come Down.
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