Skip to main content

Pigs Might Fly by Nick Abadzis, illustrated by Jerel Dye, 210 pp, RL 4

Pigs Might Fly, written by Nick Abdazis and illustrated by Jerel Dye, is like nothing I've ever read before. It is a little bit like something I've seen before, specifically the Miyazaki movie Porco Rosso in which WWI flying ace is the victim of a strange curse that makes him an anthropomorphic pig. But really, a pig flying an old-timey aircraft is where the similarities end. The world of Pigs Might Fly is 100% pig, with pig themed names for towns, people and sayings, not to mention a very cool pig-themed creation myth.

A detailed, awesome map of the Pigdom Plains at the start of Pigs Might Fly sets the scene for Lily Fatchop, girl inventor, believer in the truth of science and the power of magic, in balance. One of the most fascinating aspects of Pigs Might Fly is the presence of science and magic and the way that they are perceived and practiced in the various cultures in the story. An inventor, engineer and respected government employee, Lily's dad, Professor Fatchops, is frustrated that he has had to put his experiments with flight on hold to dig safety tunnels to protect the shire from invaders. Just as Lily, secretly and with the help of her younger cousin Archie, gets her plane airborne, saving the engine when it crashes with a bit of well timed magic, warthogs from the wild lands over the mountains attack.

Sensing the ineptitude of the government, Lily takes matters into her own hands after a second warthog raid. What she discovers is an oppressed pigdom where magic is being used for evil, not good, as the population suffers. Lily quickly realizes that she, and her new found friends, might be the only pigs who can save two different races of swine. What they don't realize is that there is also a supernatural force at play.

Jerel Dye's illustrations bring a steampunk style to the flying contraptions and a human air to the pigs. A newspaper reporter plays an important part in the story and it was an added pleasure to see pages of the Pigdom Plains Post in the graphic novel. The overwhelming, yet not over powering, presence of females in Pigs Might Fly is fantastic. Abadzis and Dye definitely have a sequel in the works and the set up, foreshadowed if you paying really close attention, comes on the final page of the novel and is chillingly brilliant. I, and everyone else who reads Pigs Might Fly, will be anxiously awaiting the next book in what I hope will be a series.

Source: Review Copy


Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!


POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

The Seeing Stick, written by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Daniela J Terrazini

The Seeing Stick is an original Chinese fairy tale written by the prolific (and prolifically award winning) Jane Yolen. First published in 1977 with illustrations by Remy Charlip (author and illustrator of the brilliantly fun picture book Fortunately and friend and muse to Brian Selznick, who asked him to pose as George Méliès while he was working on the Caldecott winning The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Seeing Stick was reissued with new illustrations by Daniela J. Terrazini in 2009. I have not seen Charlip's version, but Terrazini's is a beautiful work of art and the book itself is yet another magnificently packaged book published by Running Press, the house that brought us Steven Arntson's The Wikkeling, yet another superbly and uniquely packaged children's book with artwork by Terrazini. Interestingly, both The Wikkeling and The Seeing Stick were designed by Frances J Soo Ping Chow.

The Seeing Stick begins, "Once in the ancient walled citadel of Peking there l…