Pig Dude: He can do anything
Billy Goat Books, 2015
64pp., pbk., RRP $A11.99
Pig Dude was in a very bad mood. He was frustrated. “I cannot read. I cannot add up. I cannot skip. I cannot even hop on this foot,” he complained to his mother. “I am bad at ALL things.”
But Mama believes in Pig Dude and hugs him tightly and tells him he can do anything! And Pig Dude believes her so he sets himself a mission… he will FLY. And so begins an hilarious adventure of his attempts to fly. Even though his attempts are not immediately successful and land him in some precarious positions, Pig Dude carries his mother’s words in his ears and he persists and perseveres, bouncing back to try again and again and again until one day…
This is a warm-hearted story about love and self-belief, determination and resilience. Even though his first efforts give him a burnt bottom. he tries again and when his second effort ends in a nose-dive onto the beach and leaves him despondent, it doesn’t take much for his passion to be reignited after a meeting with his friend Clover.
Apart from the discussions that could be had between parent and child, teacher and students about the importance of persistence, a whole world of investigation about flight could be opened up. You could start with the text and investigate why Pig Dude’s efforts failed. Or investigate if the balloon solution could have been successful if the birds hadn’t intervened. If flight is defined as “travel through the atmosphere”, how do the arrows fly?” This could then be expanded into investigations about how creatures of the natural world fly and what has been learned from this to enable to use flight. Have a paper aeroplane contest or investigate why things come down. Or ask “What superheroes have the power of flight?” “What would/could you do if you could fly?’ Every child will generate their own question to investigate.
What seems on the surface to be a charming story that will delight young readers, becomes the catalyst for a lot more than being a one-read wonder.
Pig Dude also heralds the arrival of a new independent publishing company Billy Goat Books.