By Karen Malena
Page count: 103
Age: Middle Grade (also appropriate for younger children)
An Animal Story with True Heart
Within the first few pages of Piggy, readers are introduced to the world of Piggy the cat and her best friend Melvin the mouse. Narrated by a mother cat named Goober, telling the tale to her rescue kitten Peanut, the story moves from Piggy and Melvin's budding friendship because of an incident in a claw-machine to the exploration of their backyard and the interesting characters they meet. These characters include Bolivar, an angry bully of a tomcat, Rolf, an old German Shepher and retired K-9, and a fleet of rescue birds led by a robin known only as Corporal. Piggy and Melvin survive a move into a new house together and the adventures that soon follow.
The world of the cat and mouse is clearly described with use of great detail that appeals to all of the senses, and some bigger words are used to help expand a young child’s vocabulary. It is a middle grade book, but it is appropriate to read to younger children as well.
Much happens in this story. There are the adventures of Piggy and Melvin, discovering what it means to be true friends, and the curiousity of Peanut, who has dealt with rejection and tough times as a rescued runt. A familiar moral is explained subtly but in a new light by Goober--that it’s not the outward appearance that matters most, it’s the heart.