Stories of My Childhood: Pig William

What is the book about?

This is a colorful, comic-style book that chronicles the adventures of a pig named William as he tries to get ready for a day at the school picnic. William is slow, takes his time in the morning, and likes to do things his own way, including making a big mess in the bathtub. These quirks drive his many housemates crazy! So when William misses the bus, it comes as no surprise to anyone. But when it starts to rain, he may just have won the day after all.

How did I discover it?

Pig William was a childhood library item that we’ve owned since the beginning of time. I’m pretty sure we read it over and over again when I was being toilet-trained, and it’s also partially how I learned to read. I loved it so much that I actually discovered a companion book, Pigs in Hiding, at the local library that quickly became a favorite library book. (Didn’t you always have those couple of books that you always had to check out time after time?)

What do I love about the book?

Quite simply, I love how colorful it is. There is lots of detail in the pages that often speak for themselves. The pigs do lots of silly things in the background, particularly William. It’s not a text-heavy book, nor is there truly narration. The book consists of comic-book style images with speech bubbles and readers watch the character interact with one another.

This is not a preachy kids’ book at all. It’s just perky and fun. Plus, cute pigs!

Digging deeper into the fandom

This author wrote my first series books. As I mentioned above, I found a book by the same author I loved just as much at the local library, Pigs in Hiding. This one had a house of pigs playing a massive game of hide and seek, and it’s only when the lead pig sets out food in the kitchen that everyone comes out and promptly loses the game. It’s my favorite scene in the book–pigs coming out EVERYWHERE, crowding the kitchen, and many saying the name of a food like “strawberries!” “donuts!” “cheese!” Etc. Like Pig William, quirky adventures line the pages. Readers also get the enjoyment of looking for hidden pigs.

Favorite memory involving the books

William recites a poem while feeding his fish, Pinky. It goes something like this:

Pinky, pinky, little and dinky, eating Big Fish Chow. Poor Pinky; too big for the sinky, must play in the bathtub now.

Mom and I composed a rhyme to this poem which I obviously can’t type out on paper. There was another weird one where we’d refer to ponytails as “Pig Williams.” As in… “hey Mom, can you give my hair a Pig William?” I have no idea where this trend came from, nor what it a ponytail and a fictional pig had in common. Yet we used that term for years.

How did the books inspire me?

I can’t say that they really inspired me any, though it might have inspired my love of escapist books.

My thoughts on the books now

Pig William is an underrated book and there are barely any copies available on Amazon. This is a shame. The series (there’s a third one about Christmas pigs I’ve never read) deserve more attention. It could even be considered a great introduction to graphic novels.

Check out other posts on books from my childhood:

Go Dog Go
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (+ series)
The Adventures of Captain Underpants (+ series)

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