What If, Pig? by Linzie Hunter
Mouse has never had a friend quite like Pig. Pig is so incredibly kind, endlessly thoughtful and fabulously fun, that he is the best friend anyone could ever have. But Pig also has a big secret. he's a tremendous worrier!
So when he decides to throw a party for all his friends the concern kicks in and he worries about everything from a lion eating the invitations to his guests comparing this party to others. In fact, he worries so much that he decides to call it off.
Luckily, Mouse is attuned to Pig's mental health and suggests a walk so they can talk things over before he makes a final decision...
Anxiety about the what ifs are becoming a real part of the psyche of so many of our students these days because adults seem to be attaching such high stakes to the smallest things. And with lockdown in many places stretching out seemingly endlessly the lack of that interaction with their peers that normally provides some perspective and balance is lacking and so molehills become mountains very quickly. So sharing stories like this in which we are assured that "things don't stay grey for very long" is an essential part of helping our little ones cope and develop strategies for when the what ifs seem to take over.
As well as the positive story which is charming in itself, the quirky illustrations and visual tricks with the text really make this book stand out, offering an introduction to the ways illustrators and designers can add so much to words on a page. It demonstrates the differences in style between artists - compare this pig to one from Three Little Pigs for example and talk about the similarities and differences yet the legitimacy of each style. This is the age when children become super-critical of their own artwork, and if it doesn't look like the real thing or what they envisage, many dismiss their efforts, tell themselves they "can't draw" and this self-talk destroys their creativity.
So, all in all, this is a must-have for so many reasons.
Themes: Pigs, Mice, Worry, Friendship.