Pig and Horse and the Something Scary

by Zoey Abbott (Author)

Pig and Horse and the Something Scary
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade
A gentle, perceptive story about facing our fears, worries, and anxieties--and the power of a supportive friend "I have something in my head and it is scaring me," Pig said. "What is it?" asked Horse. "I can't say. I'm trying to ignore it." Pig can't stop thinking about something that is bothering her. Try as Horse might to get her mind off of it--with bike rides, swims, and silly hats--it's no use. But maybe if Pig shares the something with her friend, they can talk about it and figure out how to face the something together. With charming illustrations, subtle whimsy, and a gentle approach to serious themes, Pig and Horse and the Something Scary acknowledges the fears and worries that children can feel in their bodies and minds. It encourages heartfelt conversations about emotional challenges, while also exploring the power of a supportive, caring friend.


Gentle and effective. (Picture book. 3-7)

Copyright 2022 Kirkus Reviews, LLC Used with permission

Publisher's Weekly

After reading in bed one night, Pig now has “something in my head, and it is scaring me.” Fortunately, her good friend Horse is at the ready to help. When distractions such as bike rides and swimming don’t work (though the two are adorable in goggles and water wings), Horse suggests they get Pig’s feelings on the table, literally—they invite all the anxiety producers to an elaborate tea. Abbott’s (Marty) winsome gouache, colored pencil, and ink art gets down to brass tacks in conveying fears made manifest: the night is a sooty swirl of brushstrokes, loneliness resembles a replicating purple blob (“sticky and thick like jam”), and the scary story Pig read the night before takes the shape of a fiercely angular blue dog. But instead of confronting these anxieties, Pig and Horse mollify and mitigate them; the night and loneliness shrink in response to eating tea goodies, and when the dog runs away in pursuit of a thrown object, Pig feels “a great weight lift from her shoulders. She felt the corners of her mouth lift, too.” If the story covers well-trod picture book fodder, the protagonists are a model of supportive friendship, and there’s great appeal in the idea that dealing with darker emotions doesn’t require bravery as much as it does a smart plan and a good pal. Ages 4–8. Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Stimola Literary. (Jan.)

Copyright 2022 Publisher's Weekly, LLC Used with permission

Zoey Abbott
Zoey Abbott is the author-illustrator of the picture book I Do Not Like Yolanda and illustrator of several children's books, including Over the Moon by James Proimos, Twindergarten by Nikki Ehrlich, and two books by Rachel Noble: Marty and Finn's Feather. Her art is also featured in the anthology A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader, edited by Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband, their two kids, and a big dog named Carrots.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Harry N. Abrams
Publication date
January 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV039060 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Friendship
JUV039050 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Emotions & Feelings
JUV002200 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Pigs
JUV002130 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Horses
Library of Congress categories

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