Anthony Browne is one of the most popular and stylistically distinctive children's book artists with a number of outstanding titles to his credit. Gorilla was the winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal and the Kurt Maschler Award. Other titles include four books featuring Willy the lovable chimp: Willy the Wimp (9780744543636); Willy the Champ (9780744543568); Willy the Dreamer (9780744569643) and Willy's Pictures (9780744582406) as well as the picture books Into the Forest (9781844285594) and Silly Billy (9781406305760). In 2000, Anthony received the highest international honour for illustration, the Hans Christian Andersen Award, for his services to children's literature - the first British illustrator to win the prize since 1956.
Gr 1 - 3 A wickedly feminist tale if there ever was one, this is the story of Mrs. Pigott, domestic drudge to her husband and two sons. Tired of her lot, she leaves them for a few days, her only message being a note on the mantel: ``You are pigs.'' As the days pass and the menfolk fail miserably at fending for themselves, a unique transformation occurs: they become pigs in fact as well as in habit. Never fear, though; Mrs. P. returns, chores are divided up democratically, and peace and tranquility are restored. The feminist theme would bludgeon the plot were it not for the exceedingly clever illustrations: even before the porcine evolution of the males, there are hints of piggery everywherein the father's lapel carnation, the boys' upturned noses, a piggy bank, a light switch. After the transformation, pigs turn up everywhere, including on the wallpaper (which was formerly a rose design). Browne also uses a sly before-and-after technique in his portrayal of Mrs. Pigott, who starts out as a drab, shadowy figure, face averted, while the males are brightly drawn in full light and full-face. After the victory for women's rights, however, Mrs. P. is drawn in an equal style. In terms of cleverness and style, this one brings home the bacon. Kathleen Brachmann, Highland Park Pub . Lib . , Ill.
Funny yet thought-provoking. * Daily Telegraph *
In this moralistic fable, the overworked and underappreciated Mrs. Piggott leaves her swinish husband and two sons to fend for themselves, and they literally turn into pigs. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)