Post by Mark T. Locker.
Pete & Pickles by Berkeley Breathed.
Pete is a perfectly practical pig. He likes to have everything just so. He keeps everything in quiet order, follows the same routine every day, keeps his wife’s grave tidy. When he awakes one night to find an elephant hiding in his home, desperate for escape from the circus, Pete wastes no time returning him to the circus.
But somehow, he finds himself going for a longer walk than usual. And somehow, he finds himself passing the poor elephant, whose name is Pickles, on the circus grounds. And inexplicably, he sets her free and takes her home with him. Thus begins Pete’s journey to live again, to do spontaneous and silly activities. Their new life is not without its problems and Pete nearly sends Pickles packing.
Berkeley Breathed, best known for the much-loved Bloom County comic, has written a couple books for kids. He certainly doesn’t pull any punches when addressing some pretty profound ideas. In Mars Needs Moms! the boy’s mom is willing to sacrifice herself to keep her son alive, even though he was being a total pain. In Pete & Pickles the elephant risks drowning to keep the pig she loves alive. It’s pretty heart-wrenching, but there is more than enough silly adventuring going on around it to keep it feeling lighthearted in the end. A good book for kids 4-6.