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Swine Not?
Swine Not
by Jimmy Buffett

Swine Not? Swine--Yes! A fun, fun pig tale for all ages.

Jimmy Buffett's Swine Not? is a humorous book for all ages about a Tennessee pig's adventures in New York City and the hilarious escapades of one Southern family as they make their way in Manhattan. Heart-warming, witty and hilarious, Jimmy Buffett's tale will appeal to animal lovers and anyone wanting to see a little bit of fun and unabashed innocent joy in their reading. Jimmy Buffett's Swine Not? would also make a perfect gift for just about anyone.

When divorce uproots the McBride family from Vertigo, Tennessee to an upscale hotel in Manhattan with a ban on exotic pets, there is no way this family can leave their pot-bellied pig Rumpy, not their beloved soccer-playing pig! In their new fish tank city home, everyone joins in to hide Rumpy from the hotel staff, especially the chef determined to ferret out the strange happenings surrounding his new pastry chef and her family. One escapade upon another ensues as the family adjusts to their new life in New York City and Barton Academy. Soccer-loving Barley adjusts to his new team while his twin sister Maple sets about her Karen Wu designer dreams with a new fervor. Even Syrup the cat seems to adapt to city life. Rumpy has one mission, to find her twin brother Lukie but when it comes to pig sense, Rumpy has completely different tools, obstacles and sources than a private detective to track down a missing family member! Can Rumpy achieve her goal without exposing herself and her family to a heap of trouble?

Inspired by the true life pig tales from illustrator Helen Bransford, Jimmy Buffett's fictional imagination creates a pig tale that will appeal to all ages. Told through the alternating voices of the son Barley and Rumpy, the reader feels the affection and love between the McBride Family and their pet pig Rumpy. Through Barley, the reader hears the voice of a son who seeks to play a protective role over his family and yet a voice that has not lost its wonder and delight in the world before him. Rumpy's story endears the reader with a humorous voice that transforms the familiar and mundane aspects of life into a pig's eye view. With a voice that is cute, sweet, enthusiastic, eclectic and even wise, Rumpy's narrates her odyssey in a manner that brings a bit of magic to the reader's heart. One riotous escapade after another will have readers laughing at the sheer craziness of these pig adventures, cheering on Rumpy and her entourage. Just as quickly, a word of pig wisdom or a glimpse into emotion will touch a tender place in the heart.

Helen Bransford's photo-illustrations complement this book perfectly! The imagery inspires the imagination, allowing the reader to visualize Rumpy's personality in all its shades: soccer goalie, listlessness, poetic musing, humor and generosity, mischief-maker, adventuress extraordinaire to feminine sow-like beauty. With humorous, playful images, she helps the reader enter the world Jimmy Buffett creates in words. Mixing realistic photographic details with drawings, the reader sees Rumpy and his animal friends and adventures from a viewpoint that never just slavishly mirrors the narrative in a staged scene but rather captures the spirit itself of Jimmy Buffett's narrative.

Jimmy Buffett's Swine Not? is a fun, fun book for adults as well as all ages. I read this book aloud to my husband. I just could not resist! The humor and gentle yet insightful vision of this book captivates. Swine Not? is a book to be shared, with family, friends and anyone who wants to see the fun and goodness in a world seen through a pig's eye and the boy who loves her. Even before I finished reading this book, I knew I wanted to buy extra copies for my parents and my friends. Swine Not? just brings cheer to a reader, making this book a perfect gift. If you know anyone in the hospital, forget the flowers and give them this book --- or better yet, read it to them. Swine Not? is a book that brings inner smiles, laughter and a quiet joy to readers.

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (May 2008)

Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
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