By Janie Bynum
Review by: Lori Plach
Its not easy liking something just because its expected. Otis suffers from a severe case of loneliness. He’s not like all the other pigs, and that makes it difficult to make friends. Pigs are known to enjoy being sloppy and love swimming in mud. Otis likes being clean. He won’t play rugby with his brothers in the swamp and instead sits on the grass keeping score. He won’t join in this sisters’ game of tag but instead counts flowers. Despite his parents telling him that someday he will like mud, it just doesn’t appeal to him as being any fun.
One day as he returns home from gardening, he hears someone sobbing. He finds a little frog who is all upset about losing his ball in the middle of a mud puddle. Since he’s not like all the other mud-loving frogs, he assumes that Otis will help him since he’s a pig. Otis does help the little frog but not in the way the frog imagined. They come up with a creative solution to their dilemma and neither one gets muddy. A new friendship is formed and the story ends happily.
Children will be able to relate to this story, because of the playing ball, picking flowers and playing tag. There is a little red bird on virtually every page which could be pointed by children while listening. The words are simple enough that beginning readers would enjoy this picture book as well.
This book was a Junior Library Guild Selection. It shows that you don’t have to be just like everyone else, true friends will appreciate the differences.