One of the greatest joys I’ve known as a parent has been introducing my favorite childhood books to my daughter. As it turns out, the chance that there are new parents out there who are unaware of some of these books literally keeps me up at night. I’m starting a new feature in this space where I introduce some old books to the next generation.
Published in 1977, Pig and the Blue Flag is about a pig who hates gym class because he’s bad at it. He’s overweight, not because he has a health condition, but because he likes to eat. In other words, he’s the most relatable character ever written.
The other animals give Pig a hard time about his habits, but Pig is fine with himself. Except during gym, when he has total “butter hooves.” He wins the game for the team with a combination of luck, optimism and blind fear.
The book is told in a conversational style that’s as fun to read aloud as it must have been to write. The best part of all, however, is the book includes instructions on how to play Capture the Flag. Here comes a personal story: My mother read the book to my Kindergarten class and we all went outside to play it dressed as the characters. By “dressed,” I mean we wore dyed potato sacks to represent various animals, but close enough.
My best friend wore a pink potato sack as Pig, and I was Raccoon. We captured the beejeekers out of that flag in our itchy potato sacks. You can find an old copy on Amazon and see if Pig ever got those cupcakes he kept dreaming about.