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Pig Scramble

Pig Scramble Cover

Pig Scramble

By Jessica Kinney

Islandport Press, Hardcover, 9781934031612, 1pp.

Publication Date: October 1, 2011

Description

Clarence has always felt very small compared to his two big brothers. He just can't seem to find his place on the family farm. But advice from his inventive uncle helps him win the county fair's pig scramble and gain some confidence in the process. Told in a true storytelling fashion and accompanied by illustrations of a pig every kid will want to take home, The Pig Scramble is perfect for read-aloud story times or for newly independent readers.



About the Author
Jessica Kinney is a Maine native and mother of five children who lives and writes on the coast of Maine. A Bowdoin College graduate and former middle- and high-school English teacher, Jessica says The Pig Scramble was inspired by a true story about her husband, who grew up as the youngest child on a Maine dairy farm and really did win a pig at a local fair.


Praise For Pig Scramble

Kinney, a first-time children's book author, offers a quiet story of a Maine farm boy who's eager to fill the shoes of his two older brothers (except, maybe, when they're shoveling manure in the barn). Full of homey details, Kinney's prose takes its time establishing Clarence's insecurities about his small stature and limited helpfulness, as well as his love for his neighboring Uncle Leon, before getting to the heart of the matter: an annual competition at the county fair in which Clarence will be participating for the first time. "The pig scramble meant ten children running around a pen chasing a little pig, trying to catch the slippery, squirmy squealer with nothing but their bare hands." The prize: the pig (and hopefully a bit of respect from his elders). Brannen (Uncle Bobby's Wedding) contributes delicate watercolors that add to the book's strong sense of place. If the story is a bit slow-going and subdued, readers who, like Clarence, are more than ready to grow up will catch the wisdom in Uncle Leon's advice to "let the pig come to you." Ages 4–8.

Publishers Weekly Review, October 2011



Life is hard when you re the baby of the family.

Clarence, the youngest and smallest of three boys, always feels outdone by his older, bigger brothers. Warm, colorful illustrations depict life on a farm for Clarence and his siblings, showing an earnest Clarence trying to do all his brothers can. But while they move animals, carry pails, clean out the barn and do other farm chores, Clarence, due to his size, feels he s more a hindrance than a help. Luckily, Uncle Leon, a neighbor who can identify with Clarence s plight, lives next door, and Clarence spends time watching him make repairs in his workshop and admiring his skills. When it s time for the county fair, Clarence decides to enter the pig scramble, an event his brothers never won when they were his age, and with grit, perseverance and some advice from Uncle Leon, Clarence just might find his moment to shine. This old-fashioned story is warm and comforting, and though some youngsters may be impatient at the slower pace, the gentle suspense will draw readers in, and the satisfying end is its own reward. A realistic look at life on a farm, this selection provides an understanding portrait of a youngest child and extols the virtues of patience and friendship. A solid choice for home or school reading.

Kirkus Reviews, Sept. 15 2011 issue



Kinney, a first-time children s book author, offers a quiet story of a Maine farm boy who s eager to fill the shoes of his two older brothers (except, maybe, when they re shoveling manure in the barn). Full of homey details, Kinney s prose takes its time establishing Clarence s insecurities about his small stature and limited helpfulness, as well as his love for his neighboring Uncle Leon, before getting to the heart of the matter: an annual competition at the county fair in which Clarence will be participating for the first time. The pig scramble meant ten children running around a pen chasing a little pig, trying to catch the slippery, squirmy squealer with nothing but their bare hands. The prize: the pig (and hopefully a bit of respect from his elders). Brannen (Uncle Bobby s Wedding) contributes delicate watercolors that add to the book s strong sense of place. If the story is a bit slow-going and subdued, readers who, like Clarence, are more than ready to grow up will catch the wisdom in Uncle Leon s advice to let the pig come to you. Ages 4 8. 

 - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR

Sarah S. Brannen is the author and illustrator of "Uncle Bobby's Wedding." She also illustrated "Digging for Troy: From Homer to Hisarlik"; "Mathias Franey, Powder Monkey"; and "The ABC Book of American Homes." Forthcoming books include "Tooth Truth" by Arthur Levine (Scholastic Press, 2013).