The Princess and the Pig

by Jonathan Emmett (Author) Poly Bernatene (Illustrator)

The Princess and the Pig
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

There's been a terrible mix-up in the royal nursery. Priscilla the princess has accidentally switched places with Pigmella, the farmer's new piglet.

The kindly farmer and his wife believe it's the work of a good witch, while the ill-tempered king and queen blame the bad witch--after all, this happens in fairy tales all the time!

While Priscilla grows up on the farm, poor yet very happy, things don't turn out quite so well for Pigmella. Kissing a frog has done wonders before, but will it work for a pig?

Sure to hog all the attention, this story's frequent nods to well-known fairy tales such as Sleeping Beauty, The Frog Princess, and Thumbelina--plus hilarious illustrations--will delight readers of any age.

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Emmett and Bernatene have concocted a pretty much perfect fractured fairy tale, with wry, Thurberesque prose and gorgeously funny digital drawings that both embrace and wink at the genre. Once upon a time, an infant princess and a piglet inadvertently swap places. The princess grows up in a poor but doting family of farmers, matures into a sweet young woman, and ends up marrying a handsome shepherd and living happily ever after. The piglet grows up amid pretentious, clueless royalty and matures into an untamable pink menace that wreaks well-deserved havoc in the castle and is foisted on an unlucky prince. And how do the grownups involved process these events? With the refrain, "It's the sort of thing that happens all the time in books"—which proves that relying on Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina, The Prince and the Pauper, Puss in Boots, and The Frog Prince for answers is not unlike using the Internet as an unimpeachable source. Just ask the stunned prince, who discovers on the final page that "putting lipstick on a pig" has a whole new meaning. Ages 4-8. (Sept.)

Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 4—When two babies are switched through the kind of outrageous scenario common in fairy tales, a princess (now Pigmella) becomes the farmer's daughter and the pig (now Priscilla) becomes royalty. Naturally the girl has a much easier time growing up on a farm than does the pig in the castle. Much time passes before the farmer's wife hears about the princess who suddenly became a pig, yet she knows immediately what has happened and sets out to reveal the truth. The queen, however, believes that this is a ploy to have the farmer's daughter marry a prince. So, the girl remains on the farm and marries a shepherd, while the pig marries the prince. They all live happily ever after (except for maybe the prince), and good prevails. Each silly situation is followed by, "It's the sort of thing that happens all the time in books," a line that young listeners will enjoy repeating. Digital art in bold colors with soft lines show a character holding a book in which that sort of thing indeed happened. Think Sleeping Beauty, Thumbelina, Puss in Boots. This fractured fairy tale could easily serve well in a unit on fairy-tale tropes, and it is an entertaining read-aloud.—Lindsay Persohn, University of South Florida, Tampa

Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.
Jonathan Emmett

JONATHAN EMMETT is the author of I Love You Always and Forever. He worked as an architect before writing children's books. Jonathan is also a talented paper engineer. He lives in England with his wife, Rachel, and children Max and Laura. When not creating books, he enjoys designing and making furniture.

POLY BERNATENE has worked in advertising, animation, and comics and has published more than sixty children books in Argentina, Mexico, Spain, England, Australia, Denmark, and Taiwan.

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Publication date
September 20, 2011
Age Range
4 - 8 years
Red Clover Award
Winner 2013
Monarch Award
Nominee 2015

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