16 Page Read: If You Give a Pig a Party

If You Give a Pig a Party By Laura Numeroff (Illustrated by Felicia Bond)
If You Give a Pig a PartyA few months before Sierra was born, we made a trip to Barnes and Noble to peruse the children’s book section. Our idea was to decorate her room with children’s classics. You know – the unforgettable books of our childhood, books that she’d be unable to read until she turned five or six: The Little Prince, Where the Wild Things Are, etc.

It was here that I ran face to face with a mouse. And a cookie. Specifically, a small stuffed mouse holding an even smaller stuffed cookie: The If You Give a Mouse a Cookie mouse.

It was the first time I’d ever seen the character, and before even reading a word I was in love with the idea. For some reason, it just seemed so natural, giving a mouse a cookie, and I’m sure that if I lived in a larger city I’d have been moved to begin feeding the sewer rats small pieces of biscotti or leaving opened bags of Oreos in the basement in lieu of a mouse trap.

It wasn’t just the mouse, though – it was an entire menagerie of animals. All of the If You Give A… books are centered on a long, winding series of causes and effects. If you give a mouse a cookie, he’ll want a glass of milk, and if you give a mouse a glass of milk, he’ll want a straw. Or something like that. It goes on and on, and it’s rather fun.

If You Give a Pig a Party serves as a “greatest hits” book, bringing all of Numeroff’s friends together for a party. Naturally, it goes through the same cause and effect craziness; asking for balloons, decorating the house, calling her friends. They play hide and seek, they ask for cake, and at the end, naturally, you find out that she wants to decorate a fort with balloons and, just as naturally, she’ll want a party after the balloons are blown up.

It’s this cyclical nature that makes the books so fun. But I’ll admit – that’s not the reason I gravitate toward them when it comes to Sierra reading time. The fact is: the illustrations are cute.

You heard me. Cute. As in cute as a button. They’re adorable, and they make me smile every time.

Okay, so it’s out again. I love these children’s books because, yes, I think they’re cute. That vicious, horrible word – the bane of my existence. CUTE. I hate when people call my work cute – it makes my blood boil. Yet here I am, praising a book for its cuteness, a darling little pink pig drawn with hair and balloons and a mouse for a friend.

It’s cute. But it’s supposed to be cute. So there’s no danger in saying it. I can still be taken seriously.

Just don’t tell anyone, okay?

This was lovingly handwritten on November 1st, 2007