Vulpes Libris

A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.

Storytime with Peppa

storytimewithpeppaYou might not have heard of Peppa Pig; I hadn’t, until a few years ago, but these days I find myself reading Peppa Pig books most evenings. They’re not for me. No, they’re definitely not for me; I sometimes suspect myself capable of happily eviscerating Peppa Pig, and I say that as a lifelong vegetarian and animal rights advocate.

Peppa Pig is a wildly popular cartoon about a slightly stroppy female piglet (Peppa), her parents and her younger brother: the dinosaur enthusiast, George. Peppa is opinionated, bossy and inquisitive. Some parents have voiced concerns that Peppa Pig is making their children a bit . . . naughty. Naughtier, maybe. Watching Peppa Pig apparently encourages some children to talk back to their parents, and demand chocolate cake instead of vegetables. Here is an article in The Guardian discussing the phenomenon. This article in The Telegraph is another.

Anyhow, most small children seem to adore Peppa Pig and if a kids’ show has done well, you can bet your bottom dollar that merchandising opportunities will be exploited. Parents may now buy Peppa Pig duvet covers, sandwich boxes, beakers, clothing, lampshades, toothbrushes and more. If it’s possible to print a pink pig on something, it’s likely that somebody already has. There are also iPhone and iPad apps, and of course: delightfully illustrated picture books.

Storytime with Peppa is one such delightfully illustrated picture book, and it has the additional draw of containing six stories in one volume. These future classics are: “Fun at the Fair,” “George’s First Day at Playgroup,” “Peppa Goes Camping,” “Peppa Plays Football,” “School Bus Trip,” and “Peppa Goes Swimming.” The plots of these stories are pretty much self-explanatory. So, what is there to recommend them other than the massive draw of a petulant piglet? Just one thing: the narrative style is so plodding and unexciting that it is capable of sending listeners into a deep and instant sleep, which, as any parent will attest, is no minor accomplishment. One slight drawback, however, is that the book may have the same astonishingly soporific effect on the reader. But, heck, who needs to stay up late to watch the BBC’s latest dramatic offering, when there is the option of falling asleep at 7:32pm?

Ladybird Books. ISBN 978-1-40931-446-2. £9.99. Hardback.

9 comments on “Storytime with Peppa

  1. Erica
    January 18, 2013

    Oh dear, you made me laugh. It sounds dreadful.

  2. Lee-Anne
    January 18, 2013

    Sounds like a good one to “accidentally misplace” in the donation (or trash?) bin! Thank you for the review – or, heads up – on this phenomenon!

  3. Lisa
    January 18, 2013

    It’s hard to believe that Peppa Pig is popular in 180 countries. At least, that’s what is claimed by this BBC article, “Peppa Power”:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8646601.stm

    I’ve thought of another good thing about the book: there’s no Peppa Pig theme song. Dear Lord, the theme song is atrocious.
    Actually, on second thoughts, I’d better not link to the song here, but a quick YouTube search will reveal all.

  4. Jackie
    January 18, 2013

    What a hilarious review! I really enjoyed this & want to find one of the books, though I won’t read it before driving home, just in case it makes me sleepy.

  5. Moira
    January 19, 2013

    I made the mistake of going to find the song. It’s a decision I’ll regret for the rest of my life. I think I actually felt brain cells dying.

  6. Moira
    January 19, 2013

    And … and … did you know that there’s a ‘Peppa Pig World’ theme park?

  7. Hilary
    January 19, 2013

    I’ve heard friends who are parents muttering darkly about Peppa the Pig, but only now, thanks to Lisa’s forensic dissection, do I know exactly what to mutter darkly about. Likewise, I am warned, and shall not be seeking out the theme tune.

  8. Lisa
    January 19, 2013

    Oh, Moira, you brave soul. Now imagine hearing that song over and over and over…

    I did know about the theme park, as several of my friends have taken their kids there. Apparently, it’s REALLY GOOD (sarcasm may apply).

    Hilary, you were the person who alerted me to the Peppa Pig controversy in the press last year. It makes me chuckle that in the BBC article, they describe Peppa Pig as “an international star who is bigger than Madonna.” Honestly, BBC? Are you having us on?

  9. Kate
    January 20, 2013

    whooohoo, snort snort, I am SO GLAD my girls are past this stage. I suffered under Spot enough ….

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This entry was posted on January 18, 2013 by in Entries by Lisa, Fiction: children's.

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Acknowledgment

  • (The header image is from Aesop's Fables, illustrated by Francis Barlow (1666), and appears courtesy of the Digital and Multimedia Center at the Michigan State University Libraries.)
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