By Mark Teague

Mark Teague's Pigsty
Children's picture book review by Jessica McCarl

Ages 4-8

How many times have you told your son or daughter to clean their room? Sometimes don’t you just want to give up and tell them to live in it any way they want? That is just what Wendell Fultz’s mom tells him in Pigsty.

The main character, Wendell Fultz is like most young boys and has a messy room. His mom wants him to clean his room because it is “turning into a pigsty”. Wendell of course doesn’t care to do this. When he gets up to his room there is a pig sitting right on his bed!

As Wendell begins to clean his room, he suddenly realizes that the pig doesn’t really mind the mess. So, Wendell decides to take a break. When his mom comes back to his room and sees the mess still there, she finally tells him that if he wants to live in a pigsty, it is up to him. Wendell thinks he is so lucky!

Throughout the week, the mess grows and so does the amount of pigs in his room. However, he just pushes the mess under his bed and plays with his new friends. They stay up late every night to play Monopoly; they have paper airplane wars, pillow fights, and get to jump on the bed like it’s a trampoline. Wendell and the pigs really know how to have a good time!

Soon, the pigs and the mess become too much for Wendell to handle. They’re all over his bed hogging his pillows and blankets. They walk all over his comic books, sit on his basketball, and chew his baseball cards.

Finally, poor Wendell has had too much and goes to his mom for help. His mom reminds him that his room is his responsibility. I think all kids have heard this! I know I did! Wendell decides to put those pigs to work and make them sweep, scour, polish, and scrub.

After all of that cleaning, the room is clean but too clean for the pigs. So, the pigs pack up and call the farm truck to take them home. After that, Wendell decides to keep his room clean except of course when his friends come to play Monopoly.

Pigsty is a book that all young children can relate to. Parents always want clean rooms and children never want to clean them. This is such a great story to use for teaching about responsibility.

Pigsty is wonderful story to use when teaching children to connect to text through their own personal experiences.

It is also a story that can be used for predicting. Children love to predict what Wendell is going to do with all of those pigs and his messy room. The story has the appropriate sized text and the perfect amount on a page for young readers. The illustrations are colorful and almost life like.

Mark Teague does a wonderful job of writing another book that all children can enjoy. If your child enjoys this book, look at some of Mark Teague’s other books. I love them all!

Take a step into Wendell’s room and enjoy Pigsty today!

Webmaster's note: Interested in persuading your child to clean up his/her room? There's another book on this site that you might want to know about. It's called, How Cocoona Learned to Clean Even Better Than Her Parents.

Read more of Jessica's reviews.

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