"Warm, colorful illustrations depict life on a farm for Clarence and his siblings, showing an earnest Clarence trying to do all his brothers can... This old-fashioned story is warm and comforting... the gentle suspense will draw readers in, and the satisfying end is its own reward. A realistic look at life on a farm, this selection provides an understanding portrait of a youngest child and extols the virtues of patience and friendship."
– Kirkus Reviews
Kinney, a first-time children's book author, offers a quiet story of a Maine farm boy who's eager to fill the shoes of his two older brothers (except, maybe, when they're shoveling manure in the barn). Full of homey details, Kinney's prose takes its time establishing Clarence's insecurities about his small stature and limited helpfulness, as well as his love for his neighboring Uncle Leon, before getting to the heart of the matter: an annual competition at the county fair in which Clarence will be participating for the first time. "The pig scramble meant ten children running around a pen chasing a little pig, trying to catch the slippery, squirmy squealer with nothing but their bare hands." The prize: the pig (and hopefully a bit of respect from his elders). Brannen (Uncle Bobby's Wedding) contributes delicate watercolors that add to the book's strong sense of place. If the story is a bit slow-going and subdued, readers who, like Clarence, are more than ready to grow up will catch the wisdom in Uncle Leon's advice to "let the pig come to you."
– Publishers Weekly
"With beautifully detailed, gently shaded, flowing watercolor illustrations, the world of Clarence's family farm and his boyhood experiences will jump off the page and right into the imagination of your child. The text is simple enough for newly independent readers to read on their own, but children of all ages will love to hear it read aloud as they listen to the tale with wide-eyed anticipation."
– Old Schoolhouse Magazine
Sweetly inspired by her husband's experience growing up on a dairy farm in Maine, Jessica Kinney wrote "The Pig Scramble" for him. Uncle Leon offers encouragement to his nephew Clarence, the youngest of three who often feels left behind by his older and more capable brothers. Sarah S. Brannen's illustrations perfectly capture life on a New England farm.
– Children's Book Review
As part of Freeport's month long FebFest of Arts & Culture, some of our favorite children's authors and illustrators will be signing books at L.L.Bean, 12 Nathan Nye Street, Freeport, Maine.
Melissa Kim and Jada Fitch ("A Snowy Owl Story") will be available from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m., Jessica Kinney, author of "The Pig Scramble" will be signing from noon - 2 p.m., and Brenda Sturgis and Brooke Carelton ("The Lake Where Loon Lives") will sign from 1- 3 p.m.