A sly look at the tensions caused by class and race--or, more correctly in this case, species. Young Bennett Gibbons comes from a prominent cow family and enjoys all the advantages that come with his position. His parents are displeased when a family of pigs with a son, Webster, who is just Bennett's age, moves into their building. And although the Gibbonses agree that Webster is nice enough, he is, after all, a pig, so they can't condone the friendship. Tensions reach the boiling point when Bennett throws off all bovine respectability and jumps into the mud with Webster. Faced with his parents' fury, Bennett runs away. Only Webster is able to track him down at his favorite place, the Natural History Museum, and then the Gibbonses realize how silly they've been to block such a sincere friendship. Bennett returns, reasonableness reigns, and Mr. Gibbons proves that he has seen the error of his ways by jumping into the mud with the pigs. Told in a wry voice, yet kidlike in its essence, this appealing story, with its very New York setting, is lifted to a higher level by the delightfully offbeat ink-and-watercolor art. Dressed in similar thirties-style garb, the pigs and cows are intentionally sometimes hard to tell apart; both are as round as Weebils and the exact same color. Children will catch on that any animosity comes from the head, not from real differences. Isn't that silly?
March 1, 1996 Booklist, ALA, Starred Review
Bennett Gibbons, a young calf in a prominent cow family, is forbidden to befriend a nice young pig, Webster Anderson, because e was, after all, a pig.Bennett runs away, but Webster finds him, and the families become friends, taking delightful (if undignified) mud baths together. The splendid romp through bovine and porcine prejudice is made more pointed by the extremely urban and sophisticated setting, portrayed in richly colored watercolor and ink illustrations.