Review By JESSICA ALMY
Granny Gomez is an unlikely but formidable hero. The story opens with her enjoying her life and her peaceful house but craving a little companionship. She sets her sights on a traditional “pet” like a cat when her life unexpectedly collides with that of a piglet. At first she is resistant to the idea of living with a pig, but upon learning that he will otherwise become someone’s breakfast, she welcomes him into her home and names him Jigsaw.
Deborah Underwood‘s masterful story allows two conflicts to emerge. First, the piglet outgrows his accommodations in the house. Second, once he is installed in his new barn — constructed by none other than Granny Gomez herself — the unlikely pair of friends misses each other.
It’s the story’s resolution of this second conflict that makes it such a gem for vegetarian and vegan children. Rather than leave Jigsaw in his barn alone, or adopt a friend to keep him company, Granny herself packs up her things and moves into the barn! In a culture that expects nonhuman animals to cater to humans’ every whim, Granny’s decision to meet her friend on his own terms is nothing short of heroic.
Granny Gomez is the woman I want to be, and the person I hope my daughter will become. Kids will admire her strength, independence, and loyalty. This book is a treasure — I highly recommend it for anyone who cares about vegetarianism and animal rights.
Ages 3-7. To read an interview with the author, visit Our Hen House.