The Marzipan Pig by Russell Hoban & Quentin Blake
What struck me immediately about this little treasure was I couldn’t help reading it aloud. There’s a magical rhythm, almost a poetry, which sings off the page. Russell Hoban has distilled the exploration of love, yearning, loneliness and even mortality into this poignant tale, an unlikely adventure brimming with meaning and a delightful humour.
It begins with the pining of a marzipan pig, lost behind a sofa until he’s eaten by a little mouse. And then, in a curious turn of events, the pig’s yearning is transferred (and seemingly amplified) in the mouse. Every subsequent encounter is a little experience of life’s conundrums: the loneliness of a grandfather clock, the love of an owl for a taxi meter, the dance of a mouse in the moonlight. Cleverly, the story pivots back to another marzipan pig!
Refreshingly original, The Marzipan Pig, is an imaginative, playful adventure with a fable-like quality; sad yet funny and curiously beautiful. Russell Hoban’s masterful prose with its light, deft touch is brought to life with Quentin Blake’s dynamic and witty illustrations on every page. This is a wonderful read-aloud story to share with the family or a classroom; and perfect for an independent reader aged 8+ who loves a quirky tale.