Oink! Meet Our Favourite Pig in Children's Literature

February 22, 2023 | Katherine McG

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Pig Day is recognized every year on March 1, so we're taking this opportunity to celebrate one of our favourite literary pigs – Piggie!

Happy Pig Day

Happy Pig Day by Mo Willems

Piggie is one of the stars of author Mo Willems' popular Elephant & Piggie series for beginning readers. Along with her best friend Gerald the elephant, this spunky pink pal is always up for a fun adventure. She is carefree, funny, and a fabulous dancer!

Of course, the best introduction to this character (along with some downloadable activities) can be found on Mo Willems' official website. But to really get to know her, we recommend reading the books!

Here are a few of my favourites:

I Am Invited to a Party

I Am Invited to a Party by Mo Willems

We Are In a Book

We Are in a Book by Mo Willems

The thank you book

The Thank You Book by Mo Willems

These sensational silly stories have a simple comic book style with a large font and only a few words per page. This makes them a great choice for kids who are just starting to read on their own. And the playful plots and funny jokes will keep them coming back, so it's a good thing that there are so many books in this series! And if you want to find out more about Mo Willems, check out our previous blog post.

Pig Day party ideas

Elephant and Piggie are always up for a good celebration and so is their author, Mo Willems. In fact, he has created an entire event kit to help everyone to celebrate Pig Day which you can download from his website (PDF 8.8 MB). It includes great activities for kids and ideas for caregivers and teachers related to the book Happy Pig Day.

If you want to have your own Pig Day party, don't forget to dress up, play lots of games, and dance, dance, dance!

Piggie loves a good costume but if you want to look more like her, try making a simple snout to wear:

  • Take one section of an egg carton or cut down a paper towel roll – kids with an adult's help as needed.
  • Use paint or markers to colour it pink (Piggie's favourite colour!).
  • Carefully punch a hole on either side of your paper snout.
  • Add a piece of string or yarn to each side, making sure that they are long enough to fit around your head and tie together at the back.
  • Put your snout on top of your nose and practice snorting and smiling just like Piggie!

You can also play a Piggie Party game. Make your own version of "Pin the Snout on Piggie" by following these five steps:

  1. Draw a picture of Piggie's face on a large piece of paper –either trace the Piggie mask in Mo Willems' Pig Day event kit or use it as a guide to draw your own. Don't forget to draw Piggie's snout very lightly or leave the middle of her face blank. This will be where you and your guests will try to place Piggie's snout when you play the game!
  2. Draw several snouts on a separate piece of paper and colour each of them in a different colour. Make sure you have one for each player. Cut them out and put some tape on the back. Now you're ready to play.
  3. Attach the picture of Piggie's face to a wall. Then blindfold the first player, hand them a paper snout and spin them around. Help them to stop in front of Piggie's picture and let them try to place their snout in the middle of her face.
  4. Keep playing until everyone has had a turn. You can see who gets their colourful snout closest to the right spot by leaving all of the snouts on the picture.
  5. Add an extra bit of silliness (and a little bit of Gerald) to the game by handing one of the players a paper elephant's trunk instead of a pig snout.

Since Piggie is such a wonderful dancer, don't forget to shimmy, shake, or salsa at your celebration too!

Learn more about pigs

Of course, you can also celebrate Pig Day by learning more about real pigs. 

All Pigs Are Beautiful

All Pigs Are Beautiful by Dick King-Smith and Anita Jeram

Pigs Gail Gibbons

Pigs by Gail Gibbons

Pigs Emily Green

Pigs by Emily K. Green

Now that we've given you a few suggestions, how will you celebrate Pig Day this year? Let us know in the comments or tell us your family's favourite Elephant and Piggie book!