What if, Pig? by Linzie Hunter is the perfect picture book for anyone who has ever had a niggling worry that has got out of hand. Wonderful for little worriers and bigger ones too, it will open up conversation about anxiety and will reassure as it is full of kindness and understanding. I love this!
Pig is wonderful; a kind and thoughtful friend and much loved by everyone, a thoroughly nice chap. When Pig decides to throw a party for his friends this should be a source of joy for him and for his chums. He draws up his party check list and sends out his invitations. However Pig is a worrier. As the party draws near he starts to think, ‘what if’ …what if no-one comes, what if no-one enjoys the party, what if a ferocious lion eats the invitations or worse still the guests? Poor Pig is beside himself with worry and decides he must cancel the party. Then his wise and loyal best friend Mouse comes to his aid.
This is an absolutely wonderful picture book. The text flows with a lovely rhythm making it perfect to read aloud and the illustrations are gorgeous. Linzie Hunter conveys huge amounts of emotion in pig’s changing expressions and the detail begs to be explored as you read. From the party checklist to the invitations winging their way to the guests there is so much to talk about. Who are Uncle Potato and the Bunny Bros? I think we need a sequel to find out more. There is a quiet double page spread where a disconsolate Pig is being led along the path through a dark forest by small, cheerful Mouse then, as we turn the page, he protects Pig from the storm clouds above as he negotiates stepping stones across a river to the sunny land on the other side. With his friend to guide and support him through the difficult bits of life Pig will be able to enjoy the happy times ahead.
The humour and the optimistic tone of this appealing book lighten the important message it conveys. We know that for some children worries can mount up and anxiety can be a problem for many. What if, Pig? acknowledges this and is simply perfect for opening up conversations about worries, both the small and the more serious. There is a lovely point in the story when the animals reveal their own worries to each other and find reassurance in doing so. The horse who worries that “people cannot tell I’m a horse” and the bear who is not very ‘outdoorsy’ made me smile. The power of friendship is conveyed beautifully and Pig discovers that he is not alone, that others care and that he is accepted and understood.
This is a funny book, funny and kind. This has been enjoyed by everyone I have shared it with and this smashing book has an appeal for both children and adults. It is for anyone who has ever worried about things and that is probably all of us. What if, Pig? is a simply gorgeous debut picture book that should be in every primary school classroom.
What if, Pig? was published on 10th June by Harper Collins and is available to purchase online. There are some lovely activity sheets to download free on the publisher website that you may like to share.
If you are looking for another picture book to reassure worried or anxious children I would recommend the rather lovely Felix After the Rain.