Waltur Buys A Pig in a Poke and Other Stories
by Barbara Gregorich, illustrations by Kristin Sorra
Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke and Other Stories can be purchased at independent bookdealers, chain bookstores, or online bookstores, including amazon.com
What reviewers are saying...
In an entertaining early-reader chapter book, Gregorich tells three funny animal stories that dramatize idioms and play with words in a cozy domestic setting In Waltur Buys a Pig in a Poke, Waltur ends up with a bossy pig that treats him like the pet. . . . Sorra’s cheerful line-and-watercolor pictures show Waltur and his friends trying to keep control in the uproar, and a cheerful concluding note traces the idioms to their probable origins hundreds of years ago.
[Waltur] then proceeds to prove out the truth of an old fable by assuming that a clutch of eggs will hatch out as chickens and finally he makes a deliberate effort to prove Matilda wrong by leading a horse to water and trying to force it to drink. Each episode ends well, despite mishaps . . . . Gregorich both shows and explains what each saying means, and supplies glimpses of their history at the end to boot. An amusing way to introduce the idea of metaphor — or wordplay in general.
— Kirkus Reviews
* In this funny early reader, a . . . bear named Waltur learns — the hard way — what is really meant by three age-old idioms, each highlighted in its own story. . . . Despite Waltur’s missteps, things do work out for him, sending an upbeat message to youngsters that at times one only learns by trial and error. Gregorich’s prose tickles nascent readers while building their confidence (Waltur to the horse: “I can make you drink water.” Horse to Waltur: “I think not.”) Sorra’s chipper spot watercolors add just the right touch of comic visual stimuli.
— starred review, Publishers Weekly
Gregorich has fun with idioms in this easy reader featuring a single-minded bear. . . . The author makes excellent use of repetition, sight words, and engaging dialogue to create a manageable and entertaining read. Sorra’s cartoon-style watercolors are perfectly suited to the lively text and help round out the characters’ personalities with added emotional details. . . . These clever and accessible tales will capture the interest of youngsters who are ready for short chapters but are still most comfortable with the beginning-reader format.
— School Library Journal
Waltur is a very literal bear. When he sets out to buy a pet pig, his friend Matilda warns him not to buy a pig in a "poke," another name for a bag. She explains that he shouldn't buy what he cannot see. Enlightened, Waltur carefully steers clear of a skunk's offer to sell him a pig in a bag, but doesn't see any problem when a fox advertises a pig in a box — after all, a box is not a bag. . . . The author packs a humorous punch into carefully structured short sentences on well-designed pages scattered with colorful illustrations.
— Cooperative Children's Book Center
Idioms have been played up for humor in children's literature . . . but never with such sprightliness as they have in this book. . . [Waltur's] friend Matilda gives advice like "don't buy a pig in a poke" or "don't count your chickens before they hatch." Waltur follows her advice literally, which leads to hilarious dialogue reminiscent of old Abbott and Costello routines.
— The Brookeshelf