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SuperCoolBaby.com, March 13, 2007

Year of the Pig: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac

We received a copy of The Year Of The Pig: Tales from the Chinese Zodiac the other day. It is the second book in the Tales from the Chinese Zodiac series. It is written by Oliver Chin, and illustrated by Jeremiah Alcorn.

The book begins with an explanation of the Chinese zodiac, and we learn that people born in the year of a particular animal are thought to share a certain personality and identity with their sign. More and more people around the world celebrate the start of another Chinese new year in early spring. This year, of course, is the year of the pig.

The book is the story of Patty, a newly born pig on the farm of Farmer Wu. Patty enjoys doing all the things pigs do, slipping and sliding in the mud, diving face first into her food, and snoring loudly when she is sleeping squeezed in between her parents.

But one day, Farmer Wu loses his valuable jade ring. Patty wants to help, but she is not allowed out of her pig pen. In the end Patty manages to escape her pen and finds the ring in the compost heap, to the delight of Farmer Wu and all the other animals on the farm.

While this book does teach you about the Chinese zodiac, the story of Patty's tenacity is applicable to all cultures. The book is beautifully illustrated, and kids of all ages will be sure to love it. The Year of the Pig contains all kinds of animals: pigs, horses, dogs, sheep and oxen. We learn a little bit about each. Horses like to sleep standing up, sheep like to keep their wool clean, and so on. I think younger children will still appreciate the book, as many pages have a lot going on, and older children will like the story.

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