The best pig books

3 authors have picked their favorite books about pigs and why they recommend each book.

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There's a Pig Up My Nose!

By John Dougherty, Laura Hughes (illustrator),

Book cover of There's a Pig Up My Nose!

One morning Natalie wakes to find her nose goes oink whenever she speaks. Her doctor says she isn’t ill, a pig has simply trotted up it in the night. A riotous story with a novel idea played to the full. The matter-of-fact way Natalie’s parents handle the news contrasts perfectly with the chaos of Natalie’s classmates attempting to extract said pig. Its constant oinking ruins their game of hide and seek and completely puts them off their ham rolls. A pot of pepper finally does the trick until Natalie wakes the next day with… but that would be telling.

Readers will love the whacky ways classmates try to rid Natalie of her pig, and the unexpected ending will delight. There will be animal noises in your house for days!


Who am I?

I grew up on a diet of crazy stories by Edward Lear, Dr. Seuss, and Hillaire Belloc amongst others. They instilled in me a lifelong love of books and reading. Dad created whacky stories for me every bedtime too. Little wonder I now write my own zany tales. Greedy Mrs. MacCready and the rest of the Ever So series, plus Bears Don’t Eat Egg Sandwiches, are direct descendants of the stories I loved as a child! Experience as a classroom teacher gave me many insights into the minds of young children. I love going back into schools to read my books to a new audience. Hope you enjoy them too!


I wrote...

Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches

By Julie Fulton, Rachel Suzanne (illustrator),

Book cover of Bears Don't Eat Egg Sandwiches

What is my book about?

‘Jack has a rather grizzly visitor arrive for lunch, but it doesn’t want to eat any of Jack’s egg sandwiches. So what do bears eat for lunch?’

A crazy tale, full of fun, with bright, dynamic illustrations and a clever twist at the end. Lots of opportunities for the young listener to join in with the repeated refrain!

The Pig

By Edward Lee,

Book cover of The Pig

Forget everything you know about the horror genre. This book is one of the most overwhelming, disgusting things I’ve ever read, and physically gagged multiple times while reading it. If you’re not familiar with extreme splatterpunk, brace yourself. Nothing can prepare you for the all-out gore, guts, and absolutely insane depravity found in this book. There’s one scene in here that will never leave me. You’ll know it when you get to it. Oh, and it’s kind of about a pig. 

This book is not currently available.


Who am I?

Books that make me feel uncomfortable are usually the ones that have stuck with me most over the years. There’s just something so alluring to me about an author who can effectively bring out that feeling in readers. When I started writing stories, I wanted to make my readers squirm – I wanted to layer the guts and gore with underlying psychological themes that made the violence and trauma that much more impactful. These books that I mentioned acted almost as study guides on how to blend shocking violence with themes of loneliness, depression, and rage. If you layer these correctly, you’re going to effectively be able to make your reader uncomfortable and your stories memorable.  


I wrote...

The Third Parent

By Elias Witherow,

Book cover of The Third Parent

What is my book about?

No one knows where he came from. No one knows what he wants. No one dares ask about his strange physical abnormalities. For a quiet suburban neighborhood, things are about to change. And it starts with a knock at the door. Follow his rules. Don't call the police. Listen to his lessons. That's what Jack and his family were told. Held captive in their own house, they must face a growing storm of mental and physical trauma as they try to just stay alive.

But even if Jack can survive the horror of his childhood, will his tormentor ever leave him alone? And who is he really? Who is Tommy Taffy?

Rufus Goes to Sea

By Kim T. Griswell, Valeri Gorbachev (illustrator),

Book cover of Rufus Goes to Sea

“Arrrh! No pigs on pirate ships!” growls Captain Wibblyshins when Rufus, a perky little pig with a backpack full of books, tries to board the Scurvy Dog. If you enjoy puns and fun-to-say phrases (like “pigs play on the poop deck” and “picnic in the crow’s nest”) as much as I do, you’re going to enjoy this book. Kids of all ages will root for Rufus as he creatively convinces everyone that he’s an excellent addition to the crew. Ink and watercolor illustrations are entertaining and endearing.


Who am I?

I’m the author of funny-bone tickling and heartwarming picture books, Halloween Hustle and Prince and Pirate. My newest book, Dream Submarine, is a lyrical bedtime story that blends fiction and nonfiction and invites young readers on a journey through the world's oceans (Candlewick, 2024). Language Arts teacher turned writer, I'm passionate about literacy and love visiting schools and libraries to connect with my favorite people—kids!  My books and all the perfectly piratey tales on this list are best when read aloud!


I wrote...

Prince and Pirate

By Charlotte Gunnufson, Mike Lowery (illustrator),

Book cover of Prince and Pirate

What is my book about?

Shiver me tailfin! When two little fish with big personalities have to share the same tank, there are rough seas ahead! Snooty Prince is horrified to find this cheeky cod trespassing in his kingdom. Rowdy Pirate is sure this royal hiney has come to plunder his treasure. 

The battle royale seems doomed to end in a scurvy stalemate—until a sweet surprise convinces them to find a way to get along. In its starred review, Kirkus praises the book for its humor, heart, sitcom silliness, and storytime potential.

A Mother for Choco

By Keiko Kasza,

Book cover of A Mother for Choco

A Mother for Choco is a classic in the world of adoption books. Told through the lens of a bird looking for his mama, children learn that not all family members look alike! So many foster and adoptive children (and even the children of multi-ethnic birth families!) struggle to identify their place in a family that looks different from them. This story helps to shape the idea that family members can have different hair color, skin color, height, and other varying features from the parents or siblings of the home—and still be family. This is so powerful and important for kids developing their sense of identity and belonging, regardless of their origin.


Who am I?

As a birth, foster, adoptive, and pseudo mom to many children, I know firsthand how hard it is to find quality literature that reflects their experience and gives them skills for their own life journey. As a therapist, certified in trauma and resilience, having spent many years in social services, I also see the lack of resources available to caregivers, teachers, and counselors. It's my passion to help remove shame, build resilience, and reclaim hope in the lives of each member of these families. I’ve done this through a TEDx talk on the power of story on the brain, authored multiple books, speak regularly, offer trainings, and private parent coaching.


I wrote...

Speranza's Sweater: A Child's Journey Through Foster Care and Adoption

By Marcy Pusey,

Book cover of Speranza's Sweater: A Child's Journey Through Foster Care and Adoption

What is my book about?

Kids deserve a safe place to live and grow and learn. For some kids, this means living with foster or adoptive parents. Speranza wears her sweater everywhere, hanging onto the last memories of her birth home until it’s threadbare. Like her unraveled sweater, Speranza must weave together a new story, bringing threads from her past and strands from her present, into a future of love, family, and the true meaning of home.

This heart-warming story provides hope and support for the many mixed emotions a child will experience during their foster and adoption journey, through the unraveling and re-weaving of a favorite sweater. Speranza’s Sweater includes a dictionary of words to empower children and their carers by understanding the language used around them.

How Kind!

By Mary Murphy,

Book cover of How Kind!

This charming story showcases kindness pared down to its most basic: Kindness feels great to both the giver and the receiver, and it’s easily passed from one person (or, in this case, animal) to another.  Hen is kind to Pig, who in turn is kind to Rabbit, and so on, until the circle is complete. The simple, repetitive text and joyful, brightly-colored illustrations make me smile—and make this book an ideal choice for sharing with very young children.


Who am I?

I am no expert on kindness—though more than twenty years at Sesame Workshop, working on a TV show that focuses on kindness, may give me a slight edge. And I am not unfailingly kind, though I try my hardest. But I am passionate about nurturing this quality in children. At the risk of sounding naive, I feel that it’s our last best hope of solving some of the world’s biggest problems.  


I wrote...

The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

By Leslie Kimmelman, Galia Bernstein (illustrator),

Book cover of The Eight Knights of Hanukkah

What is my book about?

It’s a Hanukkah story, of course! But it’s also about the importance of putting kindnesses out into the world, both spectacular brave deeds and those of the smaller, barely noticed variety. The book tells the story of eight knights who, at the request of their mother, the Lady Sadie, ride out into the countryside to perform acts of “awesome kindness and stupendous bravery.” All this while seeking out the ferocious dragon who’s getting in the way of the last-night-of-Hanukkah party scheduled at the castle that evening.  Gadzooks! What are eight knights to doeth?!

A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea

By Michael Ian Black, Kevin Hawkes (illustrator),

Book cover of A Pig Parade Is a Terrible Idea

Have you ever heard of a pig parade? It sounds like a great idea, right? Imagine pigs on floats. Pigs in a marching band. Pigs wearing fancy costumes. Who wouldn’t enjoy a pig parade? Read this book to find out what a pig parade might look like and if a pig parade would in fact be a terrible idea.

Who am I?

Parades are a truly happy place for people of all ages. The inspiration for Everyone Loves a Parade!* came from the 2018 Philadelphia Eagles Superbowl Championship Parade - a spectacle the entire city enjoyed, drawing people with Philadelphia roots from all over. The communal nature of putting together a parade that carries on traditions and gives people a reason to share a celebration drove my interest in writing this book. The beautiful illustrations by Guilherme Franco bring the pages to life and allow readers to enjoy the wonder of parades from their living room couch - (where it’s much less messy).


I wrote...

Everyone Loves a Parade!*

By Andrea Denish, Guilherme Franco (illustrator),

Book cover of Everyone Loves a Parade!*

What is my book about?

Music, costumes, food, and fun. The sights and sounds of a parade are exciting! From Mardi Gras and Chinese New Year to St. Patrick's Day and LGBTQ+Pride, each celebration is a joy for kids, and most adults. With rhyming text and bold illustrations, children will love this festive and humorous look at some of the country's most well-known parades.

The Three Pigs

By David Wiesner,

Book cover of The Three Pigs

This is a very meta version of The Three Pigs, which goes on to additionally be a meta version of a book experience. First, we see the wolf blow a pig right out of the story panel border, and then everything really implodes conceptually from there. The pigs then regroup in a non-book void, despite still being in the book we are holding, and from there devise a plan to return to their original story with a wolf-proof reinforcement they got from a different story. Sounds wild? It is.


Who am I?

I love the experience of reading a book that combines a known (to me or not!) story combined with elements that make it new again. It could be a parody, a “fractured fairy tale,” or a new retelling, funny or serious. For my book Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake, I read so many nursery rhymes and fairy tales in order to populate the town with fun versions of recognizable characters for Little Red to encounter, it makes me appreciate these books even more.


I wrote...

Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake

By Barbara Lehman,

Book cover of Little Red and the Cat Who Loved Cake

What is my book about?

A highly visual fractured-fairy-tale retelling of Little Red Riding Hood (and a cat who loves cake) from Caldecott Honor–winner Barbara Lehman. With simple picture bubbles and pictograms, this is perfect for budding graphic novel readers. This playful retelling of a beloved classic is a visual delight, with references to other fairy tales hidden throughout Lehman's inviting illustrations. Master of the wordless picture book, Lehman tells a rich story using only pictures, perfect for teaching visual literacy and for young graphic novel enthusiasts.

Moo, Baa, La La La!

By Sandra Boynton,

Book cover of Moo, Baa, La La La!

Research shows that babies in utero hear and remember rhymes and rhythms they hear from inside the womb. The more frequently the rhymes and rhythms are repeated, the more responsive babies are to these familiar sounds when they are born. So if you’re going to be reading a book to your baby over and over again, it ought to be a fun, makes-you-laugh-out-loud one like Moo, Baa, La La La. This story is chock full of silly, catchy rhymes that you won’t mind repeating time and time again. Of course, Sandra Boynton’s illustrations are fabulous, too, so when your baby arrives, she will be delighted to meet the kooky animals she’s been listening to for months! Trust us, you can’t go wrong with any book authored by Sandra Boynton. Their lively illustrations and all-around silliness are bound to become cherished additions to your child’s read-aloud repertoire.


Who are we?

Did you know that babies can already hear and remember elements of language during pregnancy? Belly Books were inspired by abundant scientific evidence showing the profound benefits of prenatal reading for family bonding and children’s language and learning. These beautiful board books are uniquely shaped to curve over the growing baby bump, and specially written for expectant parents to bond with their baby in the womb while practicing the art of reading aloud. We are a literacy specialist and an editor who are dedicated to helping parents experience the amazing power of prenatal family storytime. Our blog, The Reading Womb, has been spreading the message everywhere: It’s never too early to read to your baby! 


We wrote...

Can't Wait to Show You

By Jacqueline Boyle, Susan Lupone Stonis, Laura Horton (illustrator)

Book cover of Can't Wait to Show You

What is our book about?

It’s never too early to read to your baby! This specially curved book fits perfectly around your baby bump or snuggles the baby on your lap. Celebrate the joy of new life, and bond with your baby-to-be, while laying the earliest foundation for your little one’s literacy and social development.

What makes Belly Books special? It's a truly unique baby shower gift: a sturdy board book perfect for frequent use from newborn to toddler ages, with beautiful illustrations and a touching story to share with children at any stage.

Barnyard Dance!

By Sandra Boynton,

Book cover of Barnyard Dance!

This is hilarious, interactive board book is great fun to read with babies and toddlers. I love dancing to all the wacky rhymes with my grandkids - it’s a really good workout! When the farmyard animals start stomping and do-si-do-ing, the whole family will want to join in and dance along. Great for little ones who are just starting to tap their toes and twirl. 


Who am I?

I’ve never forgotten the thrill of my first ballet! My grandmother and I went to see The Nutcracker when I was five, and that first ballet experience inspired a lifelong love of dance. As a child, I adored dressing up and twirling around the house with my sisters, and I went on to study dance along with English Literature in college. Years later when my own daughters adored dressing up in pink tutus, I started writing about a determined little mouse who loves to dance, and so Angelina Ballerina was born. Children naturally love music and dance, and I hope the picture books I’ve chosen will inspire you and your family with the magic of dance!


I wrote...

Angelina Ballerina

By Katharine Holabird, Helen Craig (illustrator),

Book cover of Angelina Ballerina

What is my book about?

Angelina is a passionate little mouse who wants nothing more than to be a real ballerina. She dances all the time—at home, at school, even in her dreams! Angelina is so busy dancing that she forgets about all the other things she’s supposed to do, like joining her family for breakfast and getting to school on time!

Angelina’s parents don’t know what to do—especially after her enthusiastic arabesques in the kitchen knock over the milk! Then they come up with a surprise that will change Angelina’s life forever…  Angelina Ballerina will enchant little dancers as she twirls off the page in beautiful illustrations by Helen Craig.

Ballet Lesson

By Elizabeth Schaefer,

Book cover of Ballet Lesson: Peppa Pig

Peppa is an adorable little pink pig, and the Peppa Pig books are full of family fun and laughter. In this 8x8 storybook, slightly older children will delight in Peppa’s very first ballet lesson as she learns some graceful dance steps with all her friends. When Peppa comes home and decides to teach her parents how to do ballet she gets quite a surprise! Wonderful humor and colorful, lively illustrations contribute to all the dancing fun.


Who am I?

I’ve never forgotten the thrill of my first ballet! My grandmother and I went to see The Nutcracker when I was five, and that first ballet experience inspired a lifelong love of dance. As a child, I adored dressing up and twirling around the house with my sisters, and I went on to study dance along with English Literature in college. Years later when my own daughters adored dressing up in pink tutus, I started writing about a determined little mouse who loves to dance, and so Angelina Ballerina was born. Children naturally love music and dance, and I hope the picture books I’ve chosen will inspire you and your family with the magic of dance!


I wrote...

Angelina Ballerina

By Katharine Holabird, Helen Craig (illustrator),

Book cover of Angelina Ballerina

What is my book about?

Angelina is a passionate little mouse who wants nothing more than to be a real ballerina. She dances all the time—at home, at school, even in her dreams! Angelina is so busy dancing that she forgets about all the other things she’s supposed to do, like joining her family for breakfast and getting to school on time!

Angelina’s parents don’t know what to do—especially after her enthusiastic arabesques in the kitchen knock over the milk! Then they come up with a surprise that will change Angelina’s life forever…  Angelina Ballerina will enchant little dancers as she twirls off the page in beautiful illustrations by Helen Craig.

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