Thomas and Joseph are pigs, literally and figuratively, and some of the other farm animals are fed up with their slipshod lifestyle. Two hens, a rabbit, and a duck set out to shape up the slovenly swine. The hens attempt to show the duo how to paint their fence, but when the porkers have difficulty handling a brush, the fowl finish the job themselves. Likewise, the rabbit tries to demonstrate how to gather vegetables in the garden so the two can eat more healthfully. When they trample down everything in sight, the rabbit finishes the harvest single-handedly. And, because the pigs dont seem to understand how to use a shovel, the disdainful duck digs the pond and fills it with water all by himself. Its not until all the work is done that the four smug animals realize that they might have been duped. Humorous watercolor, ink, and colored-pencil illustrations reveal wonderfully expressive critters and capture their contemptuousness to a tee. Their sudden understanding that they have been used is clearly revealed on their chagrined faces. Like the The Little Red Hen in reverse, these pigs dont ask for help but are waited on hand and foot, much to their immense satisfaction. This story is laugh-out-loud funny.–Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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