Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Story About A Boy's Messy Room


Written & Illustrated by Mark Teague

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 32

Ages: Preschool to Grade 2

At first I couldn't remember where we got this book then it came back to me in a flash. It was part of a book order that one of my daughters had way back when they were in grade school. 

I chose this book because I could relate to Wendall Fultz's Mom. I use to refer to my daughter's bedroom as a pigsty and I was hoping my messy little girls would learn the same lesson as Wendall.

The story begins when Wendall Fultz arrives home from school on Monday afternoon. 

His mother tells him that his room is turning into a pigsty and he has to clean it up.

Once in his room, Wendall finds a real pig sitting on his bed, reading a magazine and munching on chips. 

Wendall starts to tidy up his room but decides to take a break. 

When Wendall's mother returns to inspect his work the pig hides but the mess is still there. (Try to find the pig's feet under the bed.) 

She says, "if you want to live in a pigsty, that's up to you."

Wendall doesn’t mind the pig and the pig doesn’t mind the mess so he decides to just leave it.

Then Tuesday when he returns home from school, he finds a second pig and an even bigger mess. 

But that is okay. Wendell has loads of fun with his new friends the pigs. 

They play monopoly and leave the pieces on the floor, have pillow fights and use his bed as a trampoline.

Before long, more pigs move in and the mess keeps growing. 

That night Wendell finds that "The pigs ....rolled up in his blankets and hogged his pillows, too."

On the following day, Wendall finds hoofprints on his comic books, bites taken out of his baseball cards, and his basketball squished.

Wendall has had enough. 

He goes downstairs and begs his mother for help but she says, "Sorry, but your room is your responsibility" and she hands him a broom.

Wendall finds the mess overwhelming but then decides to organize a cleaning crew. 

The pigs help him clean and scrub until Wendell pronounces his room clean.

The pigs find the room too clean and decide to move back to the farm.

Happily, Wendall has learned his lesson. He keeps his room clean, except for those evenings when his "friends" visit to play Monopoly. 


Pigsty is beautifully illustrated in acrylic paint with vibrant colours, clean lines and full of detail. The pigs are just so silly and cute.

This isn’t an original theme but Mark Teague has executed it in his unique style. It reminds me of a time before video games and DVDs - a time when we jumped on the bed and played board games.


Born 1963, in La Mesa, CA; Education: University of California, Santa Cruz, B.A., 1985. 

Mark Teague and his family live in upstate New York. He worked in a bookstore after college. His job was to set up the books for display. The children's books made him remember his childhood. As a boy, he had written his own stories and drawn pictures for them. Working in the bookstore inspired Mark Teague. He soon began his grown-up career as a writer and illustrator of children's books. Today, he illustrates his own and other authors' books.

We have not read any of the other books by Mark Teague. I know that if I see one I will pick it up.

Mark Teague has delighted young readers with more than 20 picture books, and he has written many of them himself, including the popular Pigsty, Baby Tamer,and One Halloween Night. He is also the illustrator of Cynthia Rylant's beloved Poppleton series for beginning readers. Mark and his wife live in Coxsackie, New York, with their young daughter Lily, who had a great time watching her dad paint the dinosaurs in How Do Dinosaurs Say Good Night?

Check out this site to learn more about this author,

I have created links, shown in blue to Amazon where you can see the cover of the book, preview a few pages and see other reader reviews. I use to avoid clicking on links thinking I was going to be taken to a site which would charge me or give my computer a virus. For newbies, don't be afraid to click on the links.

Writings Self Illustrated

·       TheTrouble with the Johnsons, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1989.
·       Mark Teague (Photograph by Laura Teague. Reproduced by permission of Mark Teague.)
·       Moog-Moog,Space Barber, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1990.
·       FrogMedicine, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       TheField beyond the Outfield, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       Pigsty, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1994.
·       HowI Spent My Summer Vacation, Crown (New York, NY), 1995.
·       TheSecret Shortcut, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1996.
·       BabyTamer, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1997.
·       TheLost and Found, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1998.
·       OneHalloween Night, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1999.
·       Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
·       DetectiveLaRue: Letters from the Investigation, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2004.


·       What Are Scientists, What Do They Do?, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       Adventures in Lego Land, Scholastic (New York, NY), 1991.
·       Chris Babcock, No Moon, No Milk!, Crown (New York, NY), 1993.
·       Dick King-Smith, Three TerribleTrins, Crown (New York, NY), 1994.
·       Tony Johnston, The Iguana Brothers,A Perfect Day, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1995.
·       Audrey Wood, The Flying Dragon Room, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1996.
·       Dick King-Smith, Mr. Potter's Pet, Hyperion (New York, NY), 1996.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1997.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton and Friends:Book Two, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1997.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton Forever, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.
·       Audrey Wood, Sweet Dream Pie, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton Everyday, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1998.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Fall, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1999.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Spring, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 1999.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton Has Fun, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2000.
·       Cynthia Rylant, Poppleton in Winter, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2001.
·       Cynthia Rylant, The Great Gracie Chace, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2001.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode One, Horus's Horrible Day, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2001.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode Two, The Problem with Pelly, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode Three, Nergal and the Great Space Race, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2002.
·       Shana Corey, First Graders fromMars: Episode Four, Tera, Star Student, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2003.
·       Anne Isaacs, Pancakes for Supper!, Scholastic (New York, NY), 2006.


·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs SayGoodnight?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2000.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs GetWell Soon?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2003.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs CleanTheir Rooms?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2004.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Countto Ten?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2004.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs EatTheir Food?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2005.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs LearnTheir Colors?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2006.
·       Jane Yolen, How Do Dinosaurs Playwith Their Friends?, Blue Sky Press (New York, NY), 2006.
FUNNY FARM Written and Illustrated by Mark Teague

Scholastic Inc.ISBN 978-0-439-91499-4 HC
32 Pages
Ages 4-8

While researching other books by Mark Teague, I came across this one and thought I would share it with you. It looks pretty funny to me and I am sure my granddaughters would giggle at the pictures. There is nothing more endearing and infectious than hearing a small child giggle.

This is the description for the book. Join Edward as he pitches in with the chores on his first visit to Hawthorne Farm – where the pigs play practical jokes, the sheep brush their teeth before heading out to graze, and the mice churn their own butter. 

It is a day that Edward will never forget – a funny day on a funny farm.

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