The youngest child in the family often feels like a tag-a-long, and that the older brothers and sisters get to do the fun stuff. Jacob is the youngest of five children. Everyone calls him Little Pig. When Jacob and his siblings visit their Grandpa, they pull out an assortment of his old marching band instruments. "Little Pig looked for something he could play," but he discovers that he is too small to hold the drum, so his big sister Margie takes possession of it. He is also too little to hold an elongated trombone, an enormous brass tuba or even a trumpet.
Costello's clean line ink and watercolor illustrations express with quiet humor the youngest child's dismay at being "too little to join the band." Little Pig's remarks appear in a different smaller typeface, indicating that no one else hears him. When he asks, "Do we have any piccolos?," for instance, Margie answers, "There's a jar in the fridge, behind the olives." Little Pig's big brothers and sisters play the instruments, but they do so in a disorganized, discordant manner, and topple over each other because they're not paying attention. Little Pig discovers he can contribute: he can lead the band. Music teachers may quibble that children would not instantly be competent music makers, but we can suspend disbelief for this quiet tale of the littlest pig finding his niche in a family venture. --Lisa Von Drasek, librarian at Bank Street College of Education's School for Children
Discover: An uplifting tale with a gentle lesson about how even the smallest member of the band has something to contribute.