Rosenthal, A.K. (2009). Little Oink. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.
Appetizer: Little Oink is a happy little pig, but there's one part of his day that he doesn't like. He hates having to make a mess. While all the other animals spend a portion of their day cleaning, Oink wishes to join them.
Rosenthal has an amazing ability to play with expectation and perspective. In this picturebook, making a mess is not fun and cleaning is. What more could a preschool teacher/babysitter/parent want to share with kids?
*Spoiler for the ending* I especially liked that Little Oink if finally able to clean as he likes when he plays house. Not only does it show that Oink can still realize his dream, but also, it challenges the gender stereotype that the girl is supposed to be the one to clean. Yayz! Challenge away, Amy Krouse Rosenthal. Challenge away!
"And now comes the story of Little Oink.
Little Oink was a neat little pig. He liked a lot of things."
"But there was one thing Little Oink did not like: Mess up time. Because that's what you have to do when you're a pig."
"All my friends get to clean their rooms. Why can't I? asked Little Oink?"
To Go with the Meal:
A fun read aloud, I'd probably share this book from time to time at the end of the day when it comes time to clean the classroom before going home.
Another option is to use this at home. When Little Oink goes through the process of un-cleaning his room (unmaking his bed, unfolding clothes, throwing his towel on the floor, etc.), a young reader can clean all the places and things Little Oink can only dream of cleaning.
There is also a page where Little Oink must take his toys out of his toy box. The page counts all of his toys, but does so out of order. A teacher could discuss how numbers can be spelled out (ten instead of 10) and have a wee little child count the toys for themselves.
Tasty Rating: !!!!