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Pigs Storytime

Pigs often get overlooked in the pantheon of cute farm animals, possibly because their pens are quite malodorous and they like to wallow in the mud. However, pigs have great qualities aside from providing us with a source of food: they’re intelligent, can be quite friendly and gentle if handled correctly, and actually prefer to be clean. Hey, your room probably wouldn’t smell wonderful either if you stayed in it all the time without a flush toilet.

Our Pigs storytime kit is one of the newer and more usable specimens in the library’s inventory. I think my immediate predecessor put it together. Originally we had Pigs 1 and Pigs 2, but I combined them into one kit and added a few new books, a refreshed flannelboard set, and some new fingerplays, and BAM! Yes, I actually said “BAM!” aloud in my office when I completed the kit, even though Emeril hasn’t been cool since the turn of the century.

I’m still trying to test multiple books, so I read different books every session again.

We read:

Dumpy la Rue by Elizabeth Winthrop

Dumpy la Rue wants to dance, no matter what his family says about pigs, especially boy pigs, not dancing. His cheerful devotion to his dream gives the whole farm a new lease on life.

Interactivity factor: How are you at dancing while reading?

The Pig in the Pond by Martin Waddell

It’s so hot at Neligan’s farm. Even though pigs don’t swim and everyone knows it, the pig hops in the pond. What happens when Neligan gets back? Why, everyone realizes how smart that pig is!

Interactivity factor: Medium. There’s some repetition in the story as well as honking, quacking, and oinking. Plus, the story’s adorable and popular enough that it’s available in big book format.

Who Said Coo? by Deborah Ruddell

Lulu the pig is trying to sleep, but her friends Owl and Pigeon make too much noise. After she yells at them, though, Lulu learns a lesson about keeping her temper.

Interactivity factor: Low, but it’s a good way to talk about how to politely express our feelings.

The Long-Nosed Pig by Keith Faulkner

(No cover image.)

In this pop-up, the world’s first pig gets an accidental nose job when his bragging habit makes him short-sighted.

Interactivity factor: Low, but it’s a pop-up and always a huge hit.

Piggies by Audrey Wood

Usually when we talk about figurative piggies, we mean toes, but in this book, the piggies represent fingers. The illustrations are awesome (not surprising considering it’s Audrey and Don Wood) and very detailed, so you really want to pan the book slowly.

Interactivity factor: Medium. It’s fun to discuss the pictures, and you can teach everyone the fingerplay at the end of the book.

Piggies in the Pumpkin Patch by Mary Peterson

Two adorable piglets run around the farm, wind up in the bull’s pen, and luckily escape back to the pumpkin patch.

Interactivity factor: Low, but it’s a short and adorable book. One trick: snore like a sheep at the appropriate time in the story. How does a sheep snore? Easy! Make a snoring sound on the inhale and go “Baaaa!” on the exhale.

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz

The traditional story gets a Japanese makeover when the three little pigs decide to study at a dojo in order to overcome the wolf. The art is Japanese-woodcut-inspired, and the story features a strong heroine whose work ethic saves the day. Despite the martial arts influence, no one hits anyone. The third little pig shows the Big Bad Wolf that she can break bricks with one chop, and he rethinks his life choices.

***Warning: this book uses the word “butt.”

Interactivity factor: Low, but ninjas! You can also talk about the parallels between this and the traditional 3 Little Pigs, give the kids a little background on the martial arts, and point out that Pig 3 settles her problems with a show of strength rather than by beating the crud out of the Wolf, which she SO could.

Extension Activities:

I’m A Little Piggy

I’m a little piggy
Short and stout
Here are my ears
Here is my snout
When I see the
Farmer in the dell,
I oink, oink, oink
and wiggle my tail.

Source: King County Library System

The Tail of the Pig
(sung to The Wheels on the Bus)

The tail of the pig curls round and round
Round and round, round and round
The tail of the pig curls round and round
All through the mud!

The mouth of the pig goes oink oink oink
Oink oink oink, oink oink oink
The mouth of the pig goes oink oink oink
All through the mud!

The nose of the pig goes root root root
Root root root, root root root
The nose of the pig goes root root root
All through the mud!

The hooves of the pig go run run run
Run run run, run run run
The hooves of the pig go run run run
All through the mud!

The ears of the pig go twitch twitch twitch
Twitch twitch twitch, twitch twitch twitch
The ears of the pig go twitch twitch twitch
All through the mud!

Source: Charles County Public Library

Flannelboard:

Piggies1

Piggies2

Five Pigs So Squeaky Clean

Sing it to “Five Green and Speckled Frogs”

Five pigs so squeaky clean
Cleanest you’ve ever seen
Wanted to go outside and play
Oink! Oink!
One jumped into the mud
Landed with a big thud
Then there were four clean squeaky pigs.

(Lather, rinse, repeat.)

Source: Mel’s Desk

Craft: Muddy Pig

Source: All Kids Network

How it went:

It went very quietly! That is, we had our usual amount of discussion, but the extension activities weren’t as loud and crazy as usual. Pigs don’t really lend themselves to a lot of dancing around, unless it’s Dumpy la Rue, of course.

The books in this kit went over really well, especially The Three Ninja Pigs. Actually, it’s not even in the kit, but now it will be. A coworker pointed it out to me when she did her Pigs storytime a while ago, and I liked the art style, so I bought it for the collection. She used it in her storytime, and I just happened to remember it for this one, so I gave it a go. Holy hai karate! The kids adored it! I had their 100% wide-eyed attention through the entire story. Actually, in the middle of another story, one of the little boys suddenly opened his mouth and said, “The ninja pigs are AWESOME,” apropos of nothing. Total love. The other big winners were Pig in the Pond, Piggies, and The Long-Nosed Pig. Some of the kids asked if they could look at Piggies after storytime because the illustrations are so detailed that it’s hard to take in everything during a read-aloud. I need to see if it comes in big book format.

The double-sided flannel pigs delighted everyone, and the song was easy for everyone to learn quickly. The extension activities got a few giggles but no enthusiastic participation, but that’s been my experience with fingerplays. The kids like them but cannot quite get them learned in such a short time.

Of course, since we used actual paint, the craft thrilled them. They all proudly got their pigs as dirty as they could, and amazingly, no paint got on anyone’s clothing or the carpet! Phew! I tried to find brown stamp pads to use instead of loose paint, but alas, I could not find any. Next time I’ll start looking sooner.

One thing about kits, though: They make me lazy! Ordinarily, at this point in the week, I would be completely ready for next week’s storytime. As it stands, I have to go to work tomorrow and decide which kit to use, and then probably make a flannelboard set while I’m at it. I should really get myself a little more together if I’m going to keep doing kits the rest of the season!

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2 responses »

  1. Hi, I am the author of The Three Ninja Pigs and this post totally made my day! Please email me if you would like some Ninja Pigs bookmarks to pass out at the next Pigs story time!

    Reply

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