Hogg, Hogg and Hog
Written and illustrated by Margie Palatini
Three very big pigs have made it big in the big city by making ‘oink’ very trendy. But the big city can be unforgiving. When people get tired of ‘oink,’ the three very big pigs are in danger of becoming passé. They need another big idea. Their humble beginnings back at the farm provide inspiration. Baa! Quack! Ribbit! They take on partners, headed by a familiar name indeed: O. McDonald.
Because images of celebrity are pervasive, even kids as young as second grade are bombarded with the need to be cool and hip. Part of the appeal of this book is making fun of that need with characters from a familiar song. Hogg, Hogg and Hog are not likeable characters. They are greedy corporate types that have lost touch with their beginnings. Just as the reader looks forward to their demise, they come up with a way out. They somewhat reluctantly manage to spread the wealth among the other barnyard animals, including our friend, farmer McDonald. Second-graders are developing a sense of humor so that many of them will “get” this book.
A suggested extension activity is to make a reading list of the sounds and which animal would need to be signed to a contract. There could be a reading game or center activity with a recording of either the song or the animal sounds and mock contracts for the student to fill out.