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story.lead_photo.caption Business Pig by Andrea Zuill (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/CELIA STOREY)

TITLE: Business Pig

By Andrea Zuill (Sterling Children's Books, 2018), 32 pages, $16.95

STORY: There was a time, which some of us recall, when "business pig" might be an insult, and a businessman who acted like a pig would be villain. But a pig that acts like a businessman is adorable.

Jasper, the pig, is a born accountant. He wears a little black suit and drinks coffee, and he does not root for grubs. He uses a shovel.

Like so many modern fables, Business Pig endorses the civic virtues of tolerance and diversity, in this case, tolerance for overachievers. Jasper's accommodating, mixed-race farm family gives him a computer on a desk made of hay bales. He does the farm books and holds productivity sessions for the livestock ... which ignore his flow charts. The goat eats his card.

Humans who visit the farm to adopt a pet are not impressed by his resume. He is passed over.

Does he despair? No. He crafts a personal image, reaches out to local media and gets the cows to wear signboard ads. His marketing soon brings home the bacon.

That stupid pun, by the way, does not appear anywhere in this charming story. Zuill's easy, pun-less prose and light humor are matched by quietly hilarious illustrations of an odd but attractive farm world.

Read to Me is weekly review of short books.

Style on 07/08/2019

Print Headline: READ TO ME

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