The Old Schoolhouse® Product & Curriculum Reviews

With so many products available we often need a little help in making our curriculum choices. The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine family understands because we are in the same boat! Do you need more information on a product before you buy? With over 5,500 products listed in 52 easy-to-use categories, much of the information you need to know is only a click away! Let our reviewer-families help yours.
Do you want to get the word out about your product or service to the homeschool community? Email Jenny Higgins and share a little about what you´d like showcased, and we can help with that!

The Pig Scramble Review by Melissa Cummings

By Jessica Kinney
Islandport Press
PO Box 10
Yarmouth, Maine 04096

What happens when you combine the youngest of three brothers, life on a working farm, imagination and determination, and the highly anticipated county fair? One great story! Clarence is the youngest of three brothers, and he's always wanted to be as big and helpful as they are. But of course it seems as though he will never catch up. He loves to work hard and play hard in addition to spending time with his family. One of his favorite activities is spending time with his uncle, who can seem to work magic by tinkering and fixing and building all kinds of things. Clarence loves to sit in his uncle's workshop, watching and learning. The county fair comes around again, and this year Clarence's two older brothers are no longer young enough to participate in the Pig Scramble event. Uncle Leon encourages the youngest brother with some handy tips and seasoned advice for his first attempt at the Pig Scramble. Clarence has the joy of winning the event and taking home his very own squirming, squealing pig--and also of suddenly having achieved something very rewarding. Not only had neither of his older brothers ever won the Pig Scramble, but Clarence now has something special in common with his uncle. Many years ago, Uncle Leon--who happened to be the smallest of five brothers--won his own pig in the Pig Scramble.

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. With a decorative hardcover binding and thick pages that are begging to be turned over and over, this beautiful book sells for a reasonable price--about $18. It would make a splendid addition to any school or home library.

Themes of familial ties, growing up with dreams and personal expectations, enjoying hard work, and straining to achieve the next level of love and respect are woven throughout the book. But really, the overall storyline is so appealing that simply the fun of reading about Clarence's attempt and achievements in the Pig Scramble event will have your child--like my own little country boy--asking to read this book every night.

Product review by Melissa Cummings, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, August 2011