Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 07/01/2013 PreS-Gr 2—The cunning pig from My Lucky Day (Putnam, 2003) is back, and the hapless victim of his tricks this time is Alligator Al. It's Al's birthday, and he considers himself quite lucky when a little porker knocks on his door looking for his friend, Freddy. It's Piglet's birthday, and there's going to be a party. Strange, thinks Al. "Who's Freddy? And who has the same birthday as me?" That should have been his first clue. However, Al only sees "the [birthday] dinner of his dreams" standing at his front door. In a flash, he has Piglet bagged up and ready to be cooked. Piglet convinces Al that he deserves a big birthday cake. Al takes the bait, and bakes a nice cake for himself. But what's a party without awesome decorations, asks Piglet. So, Al decorates with balloons and ribbons and a banner. Furthermore, Al shouldn't celebrate alone, says Piglet. "Shall I invite my friends?" A houseful of tasty piglets would just about be the "luckiest birthday ever" for Al, so he concedes. Piglet's friends aren't tasty pork chops, however. Rhino, Hippo, Wild Boar, and Gorilla are so big and scary that Al runs off, leaving Piglet to celebrate his luckiest birthday ever. The final page connects this story to Piglet's earlier lucky day, leaving readers to wonder who will become Piglet's next victim. The illustrations are done in gouache, and although they are typical of Kasza's style, they lack the visual charm of the art in A Mother for Choco (Putnam, 1992), for example. Nevertheless, this trickster/comeuppance story is a fine addition to picture-book collections.—Roxanne Burg, Orange County Public Library, CA - Copyright 2013 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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