Book of the Week: You’re a Rude Pig, Bertie

January 27, 2014

You're a Rude Pig, Bertie by Claudia Boldt

Images and text by Carter.

[Note from Gabrielle: This is the last book review that Carter prepped for us last month. It's another good one! Future book posts will come from me.]

I love it when a character is so awful and his mischief so outrageous that all you want to do is reach through the pages and knock some sense into him. The redemption in a rapscallion like that brings hope to hooligans everywhere. Bertie is one of those. The entire title of his book is a slice of how awful he is – You’re a Rude Pig, Bertie, by Claudia Boldt. The first time we meet this pig, it’s only his reflection in a mirror. A mirror! Oh, the vanity. It’s delicious and disconcerting for the first page of a story, right? This is no Wilbur. He’s no Babe. And he’s definitely no Mercy Watson.

He’s the worst. His standard greetings are nasty and mean-hearted, and the other animals in town are quite adept at the stink eye. But then he meets Ruby and undergoes a stunning shift of heart, much to the surprise of the stink-eyed crew. Blinded by love and blushing cheeks, Bertie decides to throw a party. Of course! Hurt feelings linger, though, and it will take some real persistence and a splash of empathy for Bertie to right his wrongs. We’ve all been on both sides of words that sting, both collecting and speaking them, and that’s why his story is so wholly satisfying.

You're a Rude Pig, Bertie by Claudia Boldt

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Barchbo January 27, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I cannot wait to get this! My three year old loves pigs and we are also looking out for books where pigs are the main characters! Thanks!


2 Val January 28, 2014 at 7:14 am

Carter, THANK YOU! This book has delightful illustrations, and I can’t wait to check it out from the library. I love the idea of using Bertie to show the lasting effects rudeness has on those around us.

Thanks for all your wonderful book recommendations. I will miss your lovely enthusiasm for picture books here on DesignMom. I’ve bookmarked your personal website so I can continue to find new-to-me incredible picture books.


3 Carter Higgins January 30, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Val, thank you! This made me smile. I love that you found some good ones through my own eyes and slight obsession. You’re in great hands with Gabrielle! Thank you, thank you!


4 Carly January 29, 2014 at 4:40 am

Thank you so much for your clear-eyed and passionate reviews Carter – you have introduced me (and thereby my children, my friends’ children, my students and my colleagues’ students) to so many beautiful and provocative books. Your respect for fabulous picture books, the people who make them and the children who love them (and need them) really shines through. Your website is now a must-read for me! Thanks to Gabrielle for sharing your writing with Design Mom readers. :-)


5 Carter Higgins January 30, 2014 at 9:52 pm

Thank you, Carly! What a dear thing to say. My heart is full! And yes, absolutely I’ll echo the thanks to Gabrielle! What a fun corner of the internet.


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