Hogwood Steps Out: Reviews

(Ages 4-8)
Roaring Brook Press, ISBN: 1596432691


“Hogwood Steps Out is a great children’s book, with an endearing and enduring main character, a fine adventure, and not a hint of condescension or sentimentality. Its subtitle “A Good Good Pig Story,” suggests this may be the first of many. Here’s hoping.”
— Rebecca Rule, The Concord Monitor, May 4, 2008

“Mansfield has written a wonderful first book for children, showing Hogwood’s wry sense of humor. This book will make a great read-aloud as students become absorbed in Moser’s full page illustrations, which almost steal the show with their beautiful compliments to Mansfield’s text. They are vibrantly colored with great detail and some humorous touches… The story eloquently concludes with Hogwood in his pen dreaming of future adventures in a watermelon and pumpkin patch. Just like Hogwood, readers will be saying yes to this wonderfully crafted story. Highly Recommended.”
Library Media Connection, (Starred Review)

“What happens when spring strikes the fancy of a 600-pound pig with personality and panache? Confined to his pen all winter, Christopher Hogwood smells the rich, inviting mud. Beguiled by sunlight, the light-footed porker opens the gate and heads to the garden for a light lettuce snack, until a frustrated gardener wards him off. Unruffled, Christopher Hogwood follows his nose to the lawn, which he proceeds to roll up like a carpet with his snout. When the distraught lawn owner chases him with a broom, the mud-mad piggy trots toward a “deep, deep earth smell” and discovers an excavator at work. Leaving chaos in his wake, Christopher Hogwood seems content to “let” the nice policeman lure him home with a bucket of apples. Life is good. Based on experiences with his own pig, Mansfield spins this affectionate paean with tongue firmly in cheek, while Moser’s stunning watercolors capture Christopher Hogwood at his most luminous: dreaming innocently in his pen; indifferently munching lettuce; snout-deep in freshly plowed dirt; mud-splattered and insouciant. Some pig indeed! (Picture book. 4-8)”
Kirkus Reviews

“Christopher Hogwood, the 600-pound, black-and-white pig featured in Sy Montgomery’s memoir for adults, The Good Good Pig (2006), makes his picture-book debut as a personable narrator. The text is short and appealing. After spending the winter in a cozy barn snuggling with the other barnyard animals, Hogwood is itching to get out and wallow in some good mud. Unfastening the gate is no challenge for him, so off he goes to a garden with fresh lettuce, only to be run off by the angry gardener. Next he tears up a lawn and gets chased off. Finally, he’s apprehended by a policeman. Back, cozily asleep in the barn, Hogwood dreams of the next crops that he’ll raid, expressing the sentiment, “God bless gardeners.” Completing the appealing package are bold, full-page, realistic watercolors featuring handsome Hogwood, usually front and center, in a lush setting. Children will cheer for the unruly, unrepentant Hogwood.”

“Moser’s realistic double-page watercolors introduce youngsters to an endearing, bright-eyed pig whose obvious enjoyment of the small pleasures of life in his rural village is contagious and childlike in its naiveté and sincerity…. Mansfield’s story provides insight into realistic porcine character and behavior in a most enjoyable format.”
School Library Journal

“The list of classic pig-based children’s books is longer by one with the introduction of this new title.”
The Bloomsbury Review