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Reviewed by Kristine Zimmerman for Readers' Favorite
There are many alphabet books available, but Maxine Rose Schur’s rollicking rhyming book, Pigs Dancing Jigs, rises to the top of the list. Each letter of the alphabet showcases an animal, some familiar like foxes and kittens, some unusual like quetzals and zorils. The rhyme accompanying the letter is three or four words and rolls off the tongue. The illustrations are intricate, and each illustration features at least one hidden letter, sometimes many. The activities that the animals engage in are diverse and humorous. Every time you read Pigs Dancing Jigs, you will notice something new.
I have read many alphabet books in my career as a children’s librarian and Pigs Dancing Jigs stands out as a real winner. This book begs to be read out loud because the rhymes flow so well. Kids will want to examine the illustrations by Robin Dewitt and Patricia Dewitt-Grush, not only to look for the hidden letters but to take in all the fabulous detail. Each page is a work of art! Alphabet books are so important in a young child’s development, but you rarely find one that will engage both adults and children. Pigs Dancing Jigs does this admirably. I believe this one will be read over and over, and kids will be able to memorize it and “read” the book themselves. Pigs Dancing Jigs supports many of the important early learning skills, letter knowledge, phonological awareness, and print motivation. A bonus is that it introduces kids to some unusual animals as well.