The premise: A perfectly pink pig is invited to a party; guess what color he's told to wear? As we start the new school year, just imagine the pressure on children of all ages and grade levels to fit in. That's why this book is such a great choice to read when you are helping to support your child- or yourself- an an individual in a sea of conformity. But the surprise is in the ending!
Dunbar's pig is named Plunkett. He's really sold on himself. He says he's a " toff who shows off, stands out in a crowd." He'll be darned if he will agree to wear a color that is " phooey" and " daffy". He refuses in all manner of language. He'll do anything but wear that color. And yet, there are things that are permitted to be pink; the text and Polly Dunbar's whimsical illustrations describe all the things that are completely acceptable in that color.
As Plunkett whirls through the pages, he tosses his garments till he's completely undressed. And what color is he? Pink, of course! And by the end of the story, he's convinced his friend Priscilla, the host of the party, that pig pink is just what she ought to wear, too! I Will Not Wear Pink is a delightful romp of pink porcine proportions.
Personal note: When I was learning to read, I thought that the word pig was based on the color pink, because in very picture I saw of piglets, in particular, they were pink as pink can be, and more, because the first two letters were the same.I have been waiting for this book ever since.
If you enjoy this book by Joyce Dunbar, try The Monster who Ate the Darkness , Oddly, and The Sand Children, all featuring different illustrators. Dunbar lives in Norwich, England.
Kathleen Fogarty is the Youth and Family Services Librarian at Princess Anne Library. She is wild about picture books, but not quite as wild as this character.