Philomena’s New Glasses

Abigail’s back with a look at another picture book starring three sister guinea pigs who learn about acquisition overload and sibling rivalry.

Philomena’s New Glasses, by Brenna Maloney, Viking; $16.99, 32 pages, ages 2-6.

Philomena the guinea pig has fuzzy vision, so she gets new glasses. But her sister Audrey thinks Philomena looks cool, so she gets glasses, too. Soon, their littlest sister, Nora Jane, gets worried–if her sisters are wearing glasses, shouldn’t she? Then, all three sisters want new purses and dresses, and instead of being happy with their things, they’re all very miserable. The author’s photographs of real guinea pigs wearing dresses are very funny, and show that it’s important for everyone–even guinea pigs–to just be themselves. Don’t skip the end pages for “deleted scenes!”




image credit: Brenna Maloney. Used with permission from Viking Books

Snug as a Pug in a Rug


Pug Meets Pig, by Sue Lowell Gallion, illustrated by Joyce Wan; Beach Lane Books, $17.99, 40 pages, ages 0-5. 

Debut picture book author Sue Lowell Gallion has struck a sweet note in this story about accepting and even embracing new (and unwanted) arrivals. Here, Pug is king of his castle; everything he could possibly want is at his beck and call–ample food, large green lawn, and a comfy place to lay his head. One day, Pig arrives, dolled up in a green frock complete with a Peter Pan collar, and the porcine intruder proceeds to interrupt Pug’s perfect routine, driving the poor creature bonkers. Very young readers will delight at wondering whether this unlikely pair can ever kiss and make up, and the story is a fun examination of how to deal with change. Pug Meets Pig would make a brilliant read-aloud for soon-to-be older siblings. Joyce Wan’s (You Are My Cupcake; We Belong Together) cute, chubby illustrations of the critters subtly reveal the similarities between them.

Pepper & Poe, by Frann Preston-Gannon; Orchard Books, $16.99, 32 pages, ages 1-4.

Pepper’s life is the cat’s meow: The green-eyed feline adores lazy Sundays, Mondays, and Tuesdays. Then one Wednesday, a newcomer arrives. Little Poe is smitten with Pepper, but also takes the elder cat’s toys and plays chase all the time. How does Pepper cope with the new addition? Simple high-jinks and a sleepy canine foil complete this tale of feline rivalry. This is the U.S. picture book debut for Sendak Fellowship Recipient Frann Preston-Gannon, and let’s hope there’s more to come from her. Lots of black, neon orange and chartreuse create a visually compelling story, while readers familiar with Charlotte Voake’s excellent 1997 picture book Ginger will notice a similar storyline. Both are sound choices for little cat fanatics learning how to share space and affection.