January 05, 2017


by Trevor Lai
32 pp.
Ages 0-5
December 2016

Trevor Lai, founder of Up Studios, the very trendy Asian studio that created the BOOMi Camera mobile app, may be all over the internet, photographed with celebrities and promoting his studio's animations and media products, but Piggy, the title character of his first picture book, must be his alter ego, because he's just a demure little guy who loves to read and wants to make a friend.

From Piggy by Trevor Lai
Piggy, the red-spectacled boy-pig, was always too busy reading to make friends until he reaches his last book and decides to save it and try something new.  After a valiant effort at flying a kite–as instructed by a book, of course–Piggy decides to step outside of his comfort zone and make friends with a similarly book-loving girl-cat. But no matter what impressive endeavours he undertakes like blowing giant bubbles, or flying a plane, or sending flowers her way, she does not notice and never takes her nose out of her book.  It's only when he makes a small but sincere gesture at sharing his last book with her that Piggy learns it's Kate's eyesight that has stopped her from noticing his gestures.  With another large pair of red eyeglasses, Piggy helps Kate read the written words better and see the glorious friendship to be had with him.

From Piggy by Trevor Lai
Piggy has all the right messages about reading, sharing, compassion, friendship and perseverance, and Trevor Lai embeds them in a sweet, sweet story with a pig and a cat that very young children will adore.  The illustrations are bright in colour and whimsical in line, shape and size (the eyeglasses are especially outrageous).  It has a Porky Pig meets Hello Kitty vibe to the story but without the silliness or excess that might have handicapped the story.  The lightness of the tone and artwork enriches the story to become one of wholesomeness not saccharinity, sure to please both adults reading Piggy and little ones listening to it.  Piggy may make friends with Kate but he’ll become a character of affection for many more. (And there's an upcoming book, Piggy in Love, that we can look forward to reading too.)

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