When my friends and I started having children, we wanted to pass the loves of our childhood days on to them. For my husband, it was Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. For me and my friends, it was Button Moon. But we also looked around for kids’ shows that were good enough for us to enjoy and catchy enough to distract a screaming child.
We found Peppa Pig.
Peppa is a five-year-old pig with a bit of an attitude problem. She loves her little brother George, but wishes he could communicate more. She loves her parents, though often maligns Daddy Pig as the less capable care giver. She enjoys mud, playing dress up, and going on outings. She likes to get her own way and can get quite irritable when she doesn’t. She is bossy, both with her friends and with her brother. She is always right and doesn’t like being told otherwise. And yet for all these things, she is an adorable character. Perhaps because she is a more realistic, ahem, representation of a child adapting to life with a baby sibling.
As Peppa’s cartoon has taken the U.S. toddler brigade by storm in the past year, it’s about time to get to know Peppa on the page. This has been made easier for U.S. based fans by the release of three new adventures.
This is a book for the novice Peppa fan. Peppa Pig: The Story of Peppa Pig is exactly that, Peppa’s story. “Once upon a time, there was a lovable, slightly bossy little piggy named Peppa.” It takes you from her days as an only child, through her adjustment to having a brother, and continues with a look at the things that she and George love, mostly muddy puddles and dinosaurs. In this book you meet the whole piggy family, mommy, daddy, grandpa and granny. We watch Peppa as she attempts to get her wellies on and get outside, only to be thwarted at every step by everyone. For some reason, my son really identified with this part of the story, perhaps because of his own little brother, parents, and grandparents.
Peppa Pig and the Muddy Puddles
One of the overarching themes of the show is that Peppa loves jumping up and down in muddy puddles. In Peppa Pig and the Muddy Puddles the whole village experiences a colossal storm and every house is stranded in a single body of water. There are no muddy puddles to jump in. Peppa and her grandparents re-enact the story of Noah’s ark while travelling around delivering groceries to the community. In the end everyone gets to jump in the giant muddy puddle that is left behind.
Peppa Pig and the Busy Day at School
Peppa goes to pre-school with all her friends; we meet them on talent show day. In Peppa Pig and the Busy Day at School, Peppa is excited to showcase one of her many talents, but disappointed that her friends use up her talents before she gets a chance. Wanting to be unique, she stumbles upon her ultimate talent. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed that her talent was jumping up and down in muddy puddles. I was disappointed but my four year old wasn’t, and no matter how much I want to know best, I just can’t argue with his giggle.
The Pinault parent pre-schooler test:
- Requested several nights in a row – no.
- Requested after being hidden from sight – check.
- Story retold by child while on a long car journey – no.
- Child acts out scenes from the book – check.
We may have exhausted our exposure to Peppa Pig with the television show, as these books did not hold my son’s interest for very long. What did hold his interest were the unique book covers. Pull them off and inside is an enormous coloring sheet. (Use crayon! It seems like marker would work best but believe me, it results in one big muddy puddle of ink.)
Disclaimer: These items were received for review purposes.