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Author: Angela Johnson
ISBN 13: 9780531071021
ISBN 10: 531071022
Edition: Orchard Paperbacks ed.
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Publication Date: 1998-03-01
Format: Paperback
Pages: 32
List Price: $6.99

When Maya's grandfather comes for a visit, he brings a surprise in a crate--something, he says, to teach her "fun and sharing". Maya hopes it's a horse or a big brother. But instead it's Julius, a big, cool pig. Maya's parents see Julius as a slob, but Maya herself sees another Julius altogether. She sees a playmate, a protector, and sharer in all that's magical and wild. Full color.

Publishers Weekly

In this exuberant celebration of love and sharing, Maya is given an Alaskan pig and learns that friendship is a two-way street. Johnson's humorous, upbeat text rings with its own rhythm as it introduces Julius, a pig with a fondness for old movies, trying on clothes (``anything blue and stretchy'') and eating peanut butter ``from the jar, without getting any on the ceiling.'' As Maya shares Julius's version of fun and games, so the clever porker learns from Maya ``that even though he was a pig he didn't have to act like he lived in a barn.'' Pilkey's ( When Cats Dream ) illustrations are a felicitous departure for this gifted artist. Painted in blocks of fluorescent color, his paintings zing with the joy of living and perfectly capture the book's infectious carnival spirit. A small but enchanting detail is his assortment of patchwork squares, decorated with patterns and posies, which appears as wallpaper and frames several scenes. Jubilant and subtly instructive. Ages 3-6. (Mar.)