It’s time for my next review of one of this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Shortlisted books – this is in the same category as Mr Huff – Book of the Year: Early Childhood.

Pig the Fibber
Pig the Fibber
by Aaron Blabey

This is the first of the three books that Aaron Blabey had in the Notable list this year in this same category. I will be reviewing all three so keep an eye out.

Pig is a pug, and this is his third outing.

At the heart of this book is the fact that Pig is a cautionary tale. Similar to ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’ this book deals with lying. Pig is a fibber who blames everything on Trevor (the other dog in his household). This may feel familiar, like a small child who blames their siblings for things they have done wrong…not that I ever did that of course. The book goes through talking about Pug’s naughty lies and fibs and how it affects Trevor. Then Pig plans his big naughty act and it doesn’t go quite according to plan.

I would like to think that Pig has learned his lesson but it seems that he may have some more lessons to learn. In his first book Pig the Pug, Pig is a greedy and selfish and will not share. In the next book, Pig the Winner, Pig will do anything to win. At the end of each book, there is a bad consequence for the behaviour that Pig exhibits and he ‘learns his lesson’. I love these books because they use humour, rhyme, and lovely illustrations to exaggerate behaviours that all children dabble in at different times. And it doesn’t preach so much as gently nudges (with a bowling ball) Pig in the right direction. Children can look at it and identify what Pig is doing wrong. And they can see the humour in the act that ends up setting him on the ‘right’ path.

Some people don’t like Aaron Blabey’s illustrations but I am not one of them. I like the odd realism to Pig’s shape and the gigantic eyes that seem to be Blabey’s trademark. The illustrations are not busy but they are humorous and add to the story without involving much background detail – lots of his backgrounds are the white page but the illustrations still deepen the meaning of the text. The writing uses rhyming wonderfully and these books are always really enjoyable to read for their well-paced rhythm and humour.

This book was also Shortlisted for the WAYRBA Picture Book 2016.

I’m giving this one four out of five – it is quite a fun read.

If you’ve read this book, we’d love to know what you thought.