The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig, by Emer Stamp

The Unbelievable Top Secret Diary of Pig, by Emer Stamp (April 28, 2015, Scholastic) is a fun early chapter book in which a not desperately intelligent but pleasant young pig chronicles his life on the farm, with a generous number of illustrations.   Some parts of Pig's life are good--the tasty slops, and his friendship with Duck.  Others are not--the Evil Chickens, and the Horrible Horror of finding out the reason behind the generous servings of slops (which is, of course, Death by Farmer).

The Evil Chickens are not exactly Evil, but they are preternaturally intelligent, and they feel that Pig is the perfect candidate pilot their barnyard-made rocket (powered by poo) on its mission to Pluto.  Pig, embittered by his new knowledge that he's being fattened to be killed, decides to take them up on the offer.  Duck, a good friend, sneaks on board too.  The rocket actually does blast off, and their journey does take them to strange new worlds, though not to Pluto....and ends up offering a possibility solution to the problems of the murderous farmer and the evil chickens.....

It's a friendly sort of book for young readers, especially those who are amused by flatulence, although there are other amusing elements for those of us who aren't particularly fond of farts.  Some emotional depth comes from Pig's predicament, and the whole travel-to-Pluto plot element is full of sci-fi interest.   Adults might well find that Pig's frequent grammatical errors (such as "Today I is very happy!) do not add value; kids might well disagree.

disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher

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