Booklist starred (September 1, 2012 (Vol. 109, No. 1))
Preschool-Grade 1. With an old-lady-who-swallowed-a-fly structure, this follows a wily wee swine through a county fair as he sloshes in substances of different colors, creating mess after mess and smile after smile. At first he is as happy as a pig in mud, but then decides brown is not for me and I think I’ll add a rinse of . . . RED! He wallows in canned tomatoes from the horticulture exhibit to achieve the desired effect. A veritable rainbow of mishaps follow—from pink cotton candy to yellow egg yolks to black paint—and each is perfectly paced across long pages, with exciting page turns. This is a blue ribbon–worthy read-aloud opportunity for celebrating rhyme, repetition, rural traditions, laughter—and, of course, color. The star’s earnestness is irresistible, and both text and pictures are rich and energetic. Throughout, the words red, green, blue, and so on are printed in their respective colors, thereby reinforcing the lesson for little ones. Cole’s acrylic and colored-pencil art alternates between full bleeds and spot art placed on clean white pages—clean, that is, until little piggies (aka legions of adoring book lovers) get their hooves on it. Pair with I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More! (2005) for an additional splash of color at storytime.