Weekly Readings (National Pig Day Edition)

National Pig Day 2015 Banner

 

Welcome one and all to another edition of

“Weekly Readings”

Normally, your lit. rat reviews a range of books solo, but seeing as today is “National Pig Day” T.A.A.’s favorite pig, Swinebert Glockchester (from “Swinebert & Dempsey”) will be taking over today and shares some of his favorite books, and reprises some of our previous reviews. 

 

9780805077018

Hamlet and the Tales of Sniggery Woods

by Maggie Kneen

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Pub. Date: May 26th, 2009

This is a charming collection of stories about a gentile pig who despite the Shakespearean roots of his name, takes inspiration not in the theatre world, but the world of culinary arts and runs a cooking school, Maggie Kneen’s illustrations undoubtedly hearken back to a time when the forefathers and fore-mothers of animal fantasy were just getting started.

I wish there were more books set in the charming world of Sniggery Woods, but even if this remains a one and done, we got a nice day visit, and I encourage anyone who loves short reads and old school charm give it a read.

 

 

 

 

9780786805662

Mary Had A Little Ham

by Margie Palatini

Illustrated by Guy Francis

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion (@DisneyHyperion)

Pub. Date: September 2nd, 2003

 

NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: This is a re-post of our original review of “Mary Had A Little Ham”

 

Even the shyest souls among us have at times dreamed of life in the spotlight, even your lit. rat likes to pretend he’s a famous actor or performer of some kind.

 

In some ways my upcoming podcast imitative “T.A.A. FM” will give me the chance to in some small way live that fantasy, but with my voice more so than my face, but more on that later, now onto the review…

 

As the title suggests, this is a retelling of the vintage nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb” but recast to star a pig by the name of Stanley Snoutowski who leaves his home on the farm to chase the siren song of stardom.

 

Illustrator Guy Francis left nothing to chance, using every page spread from cover to cover, crease to corner, and dedication to end papers, to invoke the spirit of Old Hollywood at it’s best.

 

While also depicting the lows of our swine-tastic protagonist on his way from humble beginnings to the big time, part of which is chronicled via the old school snail mail between, and his girl, named, you guessed it–Mary, alongside Margie’s spare but effective prose.

 

My friend Swinebert Glockchester (of Swinebert and Dempsey fame) has a dad who worked in the movies as an actor, and when I shared the story with him, he said-

 

“This pig fits my Pa to a T, when he was just getting started in show business. Hope Dempsey and me do as well with our endeavors.”  

 

You will, S.B. I’ll do my best to make sure of that. Classic movie buffs and starry eyed thespians alike will find much humor and unabashed optimism abound in “Mary Had A Little Ham.” On that note: Here’s looking at you, Stanley!

 

 

9781454904168

Rufus Goes to School

by Kim T. Griswell

Illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (@SterlingBooks)

Pub. Date: August 6th, 2013

 

NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: This is a re-post of our original review of “Rufus Goes To School”

 

Rufus Leroy Williams III (you can just call him Rufus) is a little piglet, with a BIG, yet simple dream-

 

To read his favorite book, that at the moment he only can follow from the pictures.

 

Rufus decides to send himself to school so he can learn to read.

 

But has a heck of a time convincing the principal to let him attend.

 

He seems to confuse earnest pig Rufus for “The Big Bad Wolf” of Grimm’s fame, not in the man-eating sense, but thinking him more a preordained bully than potential scholar, thankfully Rufus remains unflappable in his quest to attend school.

 

How does he win this misguided principal over? You’ll have to read

and find out.

 

Valeri Gorbachev’s illustrations have this warm, unassuming charm matching well with Kim’s narrative, using repetition and rhythm to great effect.

 

The warm tone to the illustrations reminds me of the late and great Fred Marcelino, and dare I say, the legendary Richard Scarry, but his style’s all his own.

 

Swinebert and Dempsey Title Cover #2

Given the piggy nature of this book, I’ve asked Swinebert Glockchester (from T.A.A. FM’s“Swinebert & Dempsey”) to share his thoughts on the book-

 

Swinebert: This book reminds me of my nephew Trug’s first day of school

TRUG-2.5

He’s in 4th grade now, but when he first went to school, he was just as eager as Rufus to learn to read. 

Thankfully his school was open to him from the start, though Trug told me the janitor looked at him in a “Scary Mean” way whenever he saw him.

 

(«Swinebert’s Nephew, Trug Glockchester)

Apparently, he’d been told the myth that pigs are always messy and smelly slobs that would make his job all the harder.

Let me make one thing clear, it’s true we pigs like to get messy and muddy, but we’re not all slobs in every circumstance, and as far as Trug and me, we know there’s a time and place to be muddy and a time to be clean and neat, and at school (especially a human/nonhuman school like Trug’s) it’s best to be clean and neat!

 

SWINEBERT (YOUTH)That said, I went to an all piglet school when I lived on a ranch outside of New York City, and we did have a “Mud Bath” period, but we always showered off afterwards.

 

 

 

 

(Swinebert  in the flush of youth)

 

Reading “Rufus Goes to School” brought back all those memories of Trug’s (and yours truly) first days of school: the good times, bad times, sad times, and all the times in-between.

 

 

Swinebert (Grown Up 1.5)

Uncle Swinebert's Signature (FINAL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S: I can’t wait for the next book “Rufus Goes To Sea” Coming April 2015

9781454910527

 

BONNIE GLAM SHOTBefore I go, check out the video I did with Bonnie

(from T.A.A. FM’s “Guido & Bonnie“) as part of a fan tribute to Carolyn Crimi’s “Dear Tabby” 

 

 

 

That’s it for Weekly Readings.

See you next time!

 

FINAL NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review(s).

 

Weekly Readings (Guido and Bonnie Edition)

 

 

Weekly Readings - Guido and Bonnie Ed. FB II.5

 

 

Welcome one and all to another edition of

“Weekly Readings”

Normally, your lit. rat reviews a range of books solo, but today my canine-feline colleagues, Guido & Bonnie (@GuidoandBonnie), we’ll be helping me review today’s book roster, as our theme speaks to two topics near and dear to their hearts and mine, pet empowerment!

First up, the book that inspired Guido & Bonnie to be the pet advisers/entertainers they are today-

 

Dear Tabby

Dear Tabby

by Carolyn Crimi

Illustrated by David Roberts

Publisher: HarperCollins

Pub. Date: February 8th, 2011

 

 

Even pets have problems, but while humans have countless newspaper columns, call-in radio shows and daytime television programs, where can pets go for advice?

 

That’s where Tabby comes in…

 

One of the things I LOVE about Tabby is  that she’s inclusive rather than exclusive.

 

She doesn’t only advise her like species, but also birds, dogs, hamsters, and even trained Circus bears!

 

She’ll also counsel the wilder critter folks, such as a lovelorn skunk who could be “Looney Tunes” alum, Pepe le Pew’s long lost distant cousin. 

 

 

Well. minus the french accent and “Don Juan” complex…

 

Author Carolyn Crimi nails the epistolary form. Each exchange between the animal inquirer and Tabby short and sweet  with tons of personality.

 

Illustrations by David Roberts have this hip and slick retro style that still feels contemporary, and in this era of digital communications, seeing the use of paper, pencils, and typewriters delights the nostalgia buff in me. 

KatieDavis2013

 

I have to give a shout out to Katie Davis who through interviewing Carolyn for her podcast “Brain Burps About Books” I discovered Carolyn and her body of work, but in particular this book, which will be celebrating it’s 5th anniversary (or “Book Birthday” if you prefer) February 2015!

 

Plus, it doesn’t hurt that Carolyn’s a former Michigander, and your lit. rat lives in the mitten state (as does T.A.A. HQ)   

 

As I mentioned at the outset of the review, this book has a special place in the hearts of my friends, Guido & Bonnie, so I asked them to share their thoughts-

 

GUIDO's GLAM SHOT

I may be a dog, but unlike previous canine generations, I don’t subscribe to the conventions of cat and dog relations.

 

My best friend and confidant is Bonnie, who just happens to be a cat.

 

Granted, we got off to a rough start when we first met, but now we’re B.F.F.Bs(i.e. Best Friends Forever with Boundaries)

 

Sure, there are some cats who rub me the wrong way, but it’s subjective, just like there are fellows and ladies my own species I don’t jive with.

 

What I love best about “Dear Tabby” is that as Taurean mentioned in his review, Tabby’s inclusive, advising cats, dogs such as yours truly, and all the domestic and feral folks in between.

 

 

 

 

BONNIE GLAM SHOT

   

BONNIE

When Guido first proposed the idea of being in the pet empowerment/entertaining business, I thought he was just dreaming of the impossible.

I’m the realist in our friendship (though Guido argues it’s more like the “closet Pessimist”), and after having a fun, but stressful stint at being a show cat in the pageant circuit, I was not thrilled about being in the public eye any time soon…

But Guido and Wendy (our fairy god-mouse, long story there…) convinced me to go for it, and this book (a favorite of my human, Andrea, in her pre-adolescent era) gave me the courage and sparked the passion in myself to do what Tabby does.

While our methods are more high tech and global, versus Tabby’s network being analog and smaller scale, our goals are the same, to give pets a voice, and if possible, a little advice to aid their journey through this existence we call life.

But Guido and I are taking it a step further to help pet parents get their pets a little better, and hopefully entertain them both along the way.

Of all the countless “Out there” ideas Guido’s had (and still has) over the years, this I have to admit is his most brilliant yet.

Thanks Guido, Wendy, and you, Dear Tabby, for inspiring me to take the first step into this challenging but fun and fulfilling life!

Check Out T.A.A.’s

Fan Trailer

For “Dear Tabby”

Also, Check Out

A Special Fan Tribute to “Dear Tabby”

(Featuring Bonnie and Swinebert Glockchester from “Swinebert & Dempsey”)

 

 

 Also, check out Carolyn’s interview

with Katie Davis from a Classic 

“Brain Burps About Books”

(Ep. #48: Dear Tabby, a Wise Cat Gives Advice)

 

 

 

Help Me, Mr. Mutt

Help Me, Mr. Mutt!

Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems

by Janet Stevens

and Susan Stevens Crummel

Illustrated by Janet Stevens

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pub. Date: April 1st 2008

Cats aren’t the only species in the “Pet Advice” business.

 

Like his feline counterpart “Dear Tabby” Mr. Mutt gives dry wit and matter-of-fact tone to reply the the hounds, terriers, spaniels and mutts of all kinds who write him.

 

Epistolary stories (i.e. Stories told entirely via letters) are tricky to pull off because just like in straight prose, each exchange has to pull its weight, and this book does just that.

 

Unlike “Dear Tabby” that had a variety of pets and/or pet parent issues, all the letters to Mr. Mutt have two things in common, dogs with human issues, and all wonder why their cat roommates get better treatment, consideration, or otherwise special treatment from their humans they don’t.

 

Another twist in “Mr. Mutt” is that his cat roomie, known only as “The Queen”, often hi-jacks his column to counterattack his jabs about cats.

 

At one point, she pulls a “Garfield” and takes over the column Diva-Style! But unlike the more laid back and naive Odie from the iconic Jim Davis comic strip, Mr. Mutt’s got four-legged friends from all over, who are more than willing to lend a paw to impeach “The Queen” from her throne… 

 

As you might suspect from the cover credits, Mr. Mutt’s a family affair, being the brain child of two sisters, Janet and Susan Stevens who co-wrote the story, and the wispy atmospheric illustrations (done by sister Janet, who’s also an illustrator) contrasts yet compliments the pithy quips from Mr. Mutt and “The Queen.”

 

Help Me, Mr. Mutt! Expert Answers for Dogs with People Problems” is a rough and tumble, tongue and cheek look at the world of pets advising pets.

 

To paraphrase “Casablanca” Here’s at

looking you,  Guido & Bonnie-

 

 

 

 

GUIDO

 

It’s nice to know there are other dogs of a certain age like me who’re joining the pet empowerment profession, for me, Mr. Mutt’s right up there with “Dear Tabby.”

 

Though I do take issue with his narrow views on cats, but he’s from a different era, where cats and dogs had a lot of proverbial axes to grind toward each other.

 

Or in the case of of the popular cartoons back then, axes were used in the literal sense!

 

That aside, Mr. Mutt’s an okay dog in my book, and on my bookshelf.

 

 

BONNIE

 

You might think I’d side with “The Queen” given she’s the main cat of this book, but you’d be wrong.

 

Like Mr. Mutt himself, I’m not fond of her, either, it’s cats like her that give ALL cats a bad rep not only to dogs, but humans, too!

 

The Queen’s lucky she doesn’t live near me, or we’d give new and more literal meaning to the term “Cat Fight.”

 

Anyway, it’s books like this that remind me how lucky I am Guido and I can live/work in harmony, which doesn’t mean never fight, or get annoyed with each other, it’s just not a “War” every time.

 

 

Letters From A Depserate Dog

Letters From A Desperate Dog

by Eileen Christelow

Publisher: Clarion Books

Pub. Date: October 16th, 2006

 

 

Emma is a dog with human problems.

 

Most of the time, life with her human, George, is great, but as every pet (and pet parent) knows, there are days when the kibble hit the fan, and Emma’s overall a good dog, she makes her share of missteps, though George’s temperamental nature doesn’t help!

 

(He’s an artist, they can be moody sometimes…) 

 

Emma, both heartbroken and furious, finally decides it’s time to get some help, in the form of “Dear Queenie” a canine advice columnist who gives sassy and succinct counsel to pets at the end of their proverbial rope, and under the alias “Desperate Dog” Emma begins a string of correspondence between herself and Queenie that ultimately leads her to leave George’s home to the cat and be her own dog!

 

Best known for her “Five Little Monkeys” series, author-illustrator Eileen Christelow brings us a funny and fast-paced tale that dog lovers everywhere will find as much truth as there is fiction.

 

Inspired by the exploits of the “Original Emma” (the author’s dog who sadly died in 2013) Eileen’s frenetic yet warm illustrations reflect inviting yet quirky tones of the story, fans of “Martha Speaks” will definitely take to Emma’s direct and spunky voice.

 

The use of the comic panel format (similar to “There’s A Wolf at the Door” that T.A.A. reviewed for Halloween 2014) adds a fun twist that is well executed. If you’ve got pups of your own, who are hard-pressed to read (or have read to them) anything in non-comic format, this book surely delight.

 

As an author myself, I know there are often callous jokes in publishing about authors advised not write about their dogs, if Eileen heard this counsel, I’m  SO GLAD she didn’t listen to them!

 

“Letters From A Desperate Dog” is like reading a “For Better Or Worse” comic strip from the dog’s POV.

 

Big Words I know, but if the Patterson’s late canine friend, Farley, could read, this might’ve been his favorite book.

 

After all, family issues are a two-way street, even between us and our furry friends. 

 

On that note, here are Guido and Bonnie’s

thoughts on the book-

 

 

GUIDO

 

I also have to admit that like Emma, things between my master and me have rarely been smooth.

 

He’s a great guy, and his wife and “pups” are good to me, but I sure have my share  of complaints…

 

The biggest is the matter of family vacations.

 

Often Bonnie and I are left out and either stay home or at some daycare.

 

Which to be fair, is a nice place, and you make new friends, but do they HAVE to call it “Doggie Daycare?”

 

I mean, I’m not a newborn pup, folks, I’m often the oldest dog there these days.

 

While Bonnie did go on a car trip with Andrea (her human) to Canada to visit Bonnie’s sister Marjorie and her new kittens, the last time my master took me on vacation with him was over 9 years ago, and in dog years that’s nearly a century!

 

I think I’ll write to “Dear Queenie” myself soon… (Even Pet Advisers need advice themselves, too, you know!)

 

 

BONNIE

Emma and George’s relationship reminds me a lot of my human Andrea’s relationship with her father , who’s Guido’s human, now that Andrea’s in the whirlwind of adolescence, she and her dad have many a battle over everything from clothes, food, to dating! 

 

The biggest fight we ever had was when she was 10 and I accidentally ate a special picnic lunch

she made for her (eventual) boyfriend (long story, but let’s just say a tuna melt and shrimp balls were involved…)

 

Anyway, while I enjoyed “Letters From A Desperate Dog” I didn’t get as into it as Guido, but I appreciate the cat in it wasn’t “Evil” which is often how we feline gals and guys are portrayed in books from a dog’s POV.

 

The Desperate Dog Writes Again

The Desperate Dog Writes Again

by Eileen Christelow

Publisher: Clarion Books

Pub. Date: October 28, 2010

I was psyched that “Letters From A Desperate Dog” got a sequel and I can attest it’s just as great as the first!

Emma, and her human, George have more or less worked out the strife they went through in the previous book, but peace doesn’t last long when George starts dating a woman that Emma suspects is up to no good.

The (un-named) cat, who also lives with Emma and George, tries to explain that this woman is merely his new girlfriend, and possibly something more…

But Emma’s certain that Loretta (George’s girlfriend) is , and her dog, Hankie, even more-so.

When her efforts to protect and warn George backfire BIG TIME, Emma once again writes to “Dear Queenie” canine advice columnist, under her alias, “Desperate Dog” in hopes finding a way to warn George of Loretta’s “True Colors” before it’s too late!

Author-illustrator Eileen Christielow pulls out all the stops with this follow-up story. 

The use of comic panels shows a greater confidence in the overall presentation from both a artistic and functional standpoint.

“The Desperate Dog Writes Again” is yet another love letter for pets and pet parents everywhere, and a humorous reminder that not all changes are bad, especially l when they involve PIZZA!

 

With that, take it away, Guido & Bonnie-

GUIDO

Another great book about a “Desperate Dog” who’s anything but to me, and if I weren’t already in a relationship with a fine Irish Terrier (after YEARS being of single) I’d totally ask her out. That said, Emma, could you invite me and Bonnie over next time it’s Loretta’s pizza night? 

BONNIE

I got into the sequel much more in large part because the (unnamed) cat got more page time, and I love how his and Emma’s dynamics mirror mine and Guido’s.

I’m often the rational sort and like Guido, Emma’s the free-spirited “Thinks outside the box” type, and while that has its merits, it can be problematic at times…

Check Out T.A.A.’s Fan Trailer for

“The Desperate Dog” Books

(You Can Also Get Social With 

“The Desperate Dog” on Facebook)

 
That’s All For This Special Edition of “Weekly Readings.”
See you next time.

Sam Garton and Otter – Picture Book Month

SandO

 

As Picture Book Month continues, your lit. rat begins his series of Author/Illustrator Spotlights where we celebrate some of the best and brightest in the world today.

 

Today’s spotlight is all about author-illustrator Sam Garton, and his friend, Otter-

 

 I Am Otter

I Am Otter (@i_am_otter)

by Sam Garton (@SamuelGarton)

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

(An Imprint ofHarperCollins)

Pub. Date: April 29th, 2014

Your lit. rat named this book one of T.A.A.’s “Most Anticipated Reads of 2014” back in 2013 during our first series of author/illustrator spotlights celebrating “Picture Book Month.” 

It’s also a favorite of my friends “Swinebert & Dempsey.”

[@Swinebert_and_D]

They’re such BIG fans, in fact, they made this video in honor the book’s launch on April 29th, 2014-

I Am Otter

(Celebration Video from Swinebert & Dempsey) 

[April 29, 2014]

This book also has the honor of being the very first book your. lit. rat EVER pre-ordered!

 

It’s also the first time I’ve connected with a book’s star pre its release.

On May 5th, 2014, T.A.A. reviewed “I Am Otter” and is one of the best books your lit. rat set eyes upon this year. 

In Early November 2014, “I Am Otter” was in the semifinals of the Goodreads Choice Awards in the picture book category through write-in votes from diverse fans across the globe! (including yours truly)

Sadly, it didn’t make the finals, but Otter took it in stride.

(Giraffe, not so much…)

But #TeamOtter still had something to cheer about when recently, revealed the cover for Otter’s next book-

Otter in Space

Expect T.A.A. to be on the lookout when this beams down in May 2015* (which is also your lit. rat’s birthday month!)

During the summer, I heard rumblings that another Otter book is in the works, and I was so excited I made this video teaser MONTHS ago (before the cover was revealed)

(“Otter in Space” Spring 2014 Teaser)

Learn more about Otter at her OFFICIAL website-

www.iamotter.co.uk 

 

Oh, one last thing-

Weekly Readings X

 Weekly Readings X (10)

Welcome one and all to another edition of Weekly Readings!

 

For those new here, Weekly Readings is when your lit. rat reviews books I’ve read here and there.

 

While T.A.A. focuses on animal stories, we do give humans their due now and again…

 

Last week, we did our first leap in to middle grade novels after spending the last two years establishing our picture book reviews, but this week we’re back to picture books.

 

 

This week, T.A.A.’s going “Back to School” with some books for the young scholar (or scholars) in your life.

 

 

We originally meant to time this with the start of the (U.S.) 2014-2015 school year.

 

But life and tech happens, and hey, sometimes “Better late than never” is NOT the worst thing in the world! (Just a word to the wise and SANE from your lit. rat)

 

 

In this double feature review session, we’ve got a tried and true dynamic duo who’ve earned their honors, and a freshman fighting for the right to read who’d make recent Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai proud-

 

A Library Book For Bear

 

A Library Book For Bear

by Bonny Becker

Illustrated by Kady MacDonald Denton

Publisher: Candlewick Press (@Candlewick)

Pub. Date: July 22nd, 2014

 

The curmudgeonly ursine and unflappable rodent have been charming and cracking up readers since their inaugural outing, “A Visitor for Bear” WAY back in 2008-

 

 

A Visitor For Bear

 

 

Thankfully, the dawn of the “Great Recession”

didn’t take this duo out with it.

 

As the title of this recent installment implies, we’re heading to one your lit. rat’s favorite places, but guess who’s not yet jazzed about the concept…

As usual, set in his ways Bear thinks he has all the books he needs at home. (Something my grandma might wish was my mindset, given the MANY books in this lit. rat’s private library, without actually having a dedicated library room…)

 

But ever the patient “Agony Uncle”Mouse tries to get his grumpy buddy bear (not to be confused with THE Grumpy Bear of “Care Bears” fame) to take a bite out of the literary melting pot we lovingly call: the library!

 

Once again, author Bonny Becker (who wrote one of my fave under-appreciated novels, “Holbrook – A Lizard’s Tale“) and illustrator Kady MacDonald Denton team up for the 5th time reminding readers young and old that libraries ROCK!

 

Another way you can support authors you love, while feeding your reader addiction even when you’re on a tighter budget than you’d like.

 

It’s also important for those of us more able to buy books to help our libraries out by donating new or gently used copies, especially library systems like my hometown of Detroit, Michigan (aka T.A.A. HQ),that’s so cash strapped even titles from just LAST YEAR (of the book’s pub. date) aren’t available in the system.

 

Which often means I can’t always find books I want to read and/or review via DPL (Even through inter-library loan).

 

It’s something I plan to take action on for 2015, more on that in the near future…

 

Out next title is the new kid on the block (not the musical group) that I’m so psyched to share-

 

 

Rufus Goes To School

Rufus Goes to School

by Kim T. Griswell

Illustrated by Valeri Gorbachev

Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books (@SterlingBooks)

Pub. Date: August 6th, 2013

 

 

Rufus Leroy Williams III (you can just call him Rufus) is a little piglet, with a BIG, yet simple dream-

 

To read his favorite book, that at the moment he only can follow from the pictures.

 

Rufus decides to send himself to school so he can learn to read.

 

But has a heck of a time convincing the principal to let him attend.

 

He seems to confuse earnest pig Rufus for “The Big Bad Wolf” of Grimm’s fame, not in the man-eating sense, but thinking him more a preordained bully than potential scholar, thankfully Rufus remains unflappable in his quest to attend school.

 

How does he win this misguided principal over? You’ll have to read

and find out.

 

Valeri Gorbachev’s illustrations have this warm, unassuming charm matching well with Kim’s narrative, using repetition and rhythm to great effect.

 

The warm tone to the illustrations reminds me of the late and great Fred Marcelino, and dare I say, the legendary Richard Scarry, but his style’s all his own.

Swinebert and Dempsey Title Cover #2

Given the piggy nature of this book, I’ve asked Swinebert Glockchester (from T.A.A. FM’s “Swinebert & Dempsey”) to share his thoughts on the book-

 

 

Swinebert: This book reminds me of my nephew Trug’s first day of school-

TRUG-2.5

He’s in 4th grade now, but when he first went to school, he was just as eager as Rufus to learn to read. 

 

Thankfully his school was open to him from the start, though Trug told me the janitor looked at him in a “Scary Mean” way whenever he saw him.

 

Apparently, he’d been told the myth that pigs are always messy and smelly slobs that would make his job all the harder.

 

Let me make one thing clear, it’s true we pigs like to get messy and muddy, but we’re not all slobs in every circumstance, and as far as Trug and me, we know there’s a time and place to be muddy and a time to be clean and neat, and at school (especially a human/nonhuman school like Trug’s) it’s best to be clean and neat!

 

SWINEBERT (YOUTH)That said, I went to an all piglet school when I lived on a ranch outside of New York City, and we did have a “Mud Bath” period, but we always showered off afterwards.

 

 

 

 

 

(Swinebert  in the flush of youth)

 

Reading “Rufus Goes to School” brought back all those memories of Trug’s (and yours truly) first days of school: the good times, bad times, sad times, and all the times in-between.

 

 

Swinebert (Grown Up 1.5)

Uncle Swinebert's Signature (FINAL)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Follow  Swinebert (and his feline pal, Dempsey) on Twitter via @Swinebert_and_D

 

facebook-346725←They’re also on Facebook!

 

 

 

That’s it for Weekly Readings. See you next

time!

 

NOTE FROM THE LITERARY RAT: If my ramblings convinced you to buy one or more of the books mentioned above, please support T.A.A. by clicking on the affiliate cover images above or links within the review(s).