Reviewed by Dr S Alexander
Delicate and moving the tale of Pedro the piglet, his mummy Rosie and the farmer’s little girl is told in a wonderful new children’s picture book by Carlie Mascelle from the Bay of Plenty (NZ).
I’m not sure I will come across a better new book this year – it’s original, home-grown, and as a touching story it's one that remains in your mind.
The story illuminates the kindness that exists in every child. When a child finds or is given opportunity to see life from the perspectives of other living beings who have little say over their lives, a real and genuine kindness can be sustained, against all odds, through into the adult years.
The text is well crafted, with words and ideas flowing in ways that suddenly make you aware of your own thought processes and experiences rather than numbing the brain with too much encyclopaedic information.
It is written for a universal readership, but as it is New Zealand published book it would be great if there was also a kiwi version with some Maori names and a touch of kiwi farming lingo.
The illustrations are sublime, from one picture to the next you are absorbed into the story and want to turn the page to know what happens next.
By adding this book to your story-book collection for children to look at alone or together it matters less if as a parent, early childhood or primary school teacher you feel uncomfortable talking about feelings and how one’s own actions can affect others. But it is important that you do, and this book is a great aid, because the early years are a crucial time for the development of perspective taking, a skill that is harder to learn in later years and may never be learnt if not nurtured during childhood.
The book can also be used to support discussions with children about where bacon and meat in general comes from and how it is obtained. “I am NOT Bacon” enables adults (whether animal-eating, vegetarian or vegan) to have a good starting point to talk truthfully with children about this topic.
Date of publication: Nov 2015
Publisher: Stonewall Productions
Price: $18.00 plus p&h
Order online at: http://www.stonewallproductions.co.nz/442914/
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