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Martin Waddell is one of the best authors around of Children's picture books. The Pig in the Pond is one of his lesser known books but still has the brilliance and humour of some of his more famous books. I feel this book is perfect for children aged 0-7 years and is loved by all that I have read it to.
If you don't already know 'pigs don't swim'. This is the problem that Neligan's pig faces on a hot day. The pig sits in the hot sun watching the ducks and geese bathing in the cool pond. The heat soon becomes unbearable, the sweat continues to build up on the poor pig until he can bear the heat no more and to all of the animals surprise Neligan's pig jumps into the pond 'SPLASH'.
How will Neligan the farmer react to the Pig being in the pond?
Warning: if the children you are sharing this book with are anything like mine, then there will be a page that has them screaming and howling with laughter. This is because towards the end of the book, you get to see Farmer Neligan's bum! This part of the book soon becomes children's favourite part and is the bit of the story most children remember ;-)
The book is quite repetitive, perfect for young children to support them with reading and giving them the opportunity to join in after multiple readings. It includes animal noises which allows even the youngest child to join in. The watercolour illustrations are fantastic and support the enjoyable experience of reading this book. The book has a very basic plot and is very humorous.
Now most picture books retail at around £4.99, this one higher on amazon but there is no need to buy this book at this price. There is often a Martin Waddell set on the Book People website where you can buy 10 of his books for £10 including the Pig in the Pond and other Waddell favourites like Owl Babies, Can't You Sleep Little Bear and Farmer Duck. A collection I would recommend all families own. If they are currently unavailable be patient they generally come round every few months.
A highly recommended book, hilarious and great to share with young children.
With such hot and wilting weather that we are having these days, I can't think of a better book to read with your child than 'The Pig in the Pond'. It is written by Martin Waddell who is one of our favourite children's authors and has written such wonderful books as 'Owl Babies' and 'Snow Bears'. In this book he is ably partnered by the illustrator Jill Barton.
'The Pig in the Pond' is a lovely picture book that tells a sweet but simple story about what happened on a very hot and dry day. It all takes place on Farmer Neligan's farm when he goes off to town one day. Neligan's pig is feeling the heat and is very envious of the ducks and the geese coolly swimming about in Neligan's pond. The pig does not go in the pond though because of course pigs can't swim.
However, as the afternoon grows hotter, the pig becomes more and more desperate until she can stand it no longer. She rises from the ground, turns round and round. Stamps her trotters, twirls her tail and with a great big SPLASH lands in the middle of the pond! She has a wonderful time splashing around in the pond but in her enthusiasm she splashes the ducks and the geese right out of the pond and they are not happy at all! In fact all the animals complain very loudly that 'There's a pig in the Pond!'
The animals are still complaining when Neligan comes back from town but instead of being annoyed with the pig, he does what any sensible person would do on a sweltering hot afternoon. He removes all of his clothes and jumps in the pond too! (I should tell you that there are a couple of quite cheeky pictures accompanying this which makes both my daughters giggle!) And finally, following his example, all the other animals jump into the pond and start splashing about too and everyone is happy!
Both my daughters really love this story which is really effective in its simplicity. It is written in short simple sentences with lots of repetition which means that it is really easy for young children to join in. There is one double page spread just containing the word SPLASH many times and showing the pig doing exactly that! My youngest daughter really loves 'reading' each of these words with relish. There is also much repetition with ducks quacking, geese honking and the pink oinking which is also very easy for young children to pick up on and start joining in!
Jill Barton's illustrations are really good and not only match the story but add to it too. There is much humour in many of the pictures and as I said earlier there are a couple of slightly cheeky ones too! They all contribute to a fun filled story that is a delight to read, IT's definitely one of my daughters' favourites!
THis lovely picture book is published by Walker Books and is currently available in its paperback form for £4.49.
This is the story of a Very Hot Day, and a pig who, despite the encouragement of ducks and geese (who later regret it), tries to resist the lure of the water. Pigs, you see, don't swim. But eventually--well--SPLASH! And then all the rest of the farm animals come from their fields to watch and wait, wondering what Farmer Neligan's response will be.