King Pig by Nick Bland



Another beauty by Nick Bland, this 2013 book was a ‘Short-Listed Book’ for The Children’s Book Council of Australia. My daughter brought this one home from the school library and told me I ‘must review it’! So I am.


King Pig, being the king, can get the sheep to do anything he likes, whenever he likes, but he doesn’t understand why he can’t get them to like him! No matter how loudly he yells, they don’t listen and they never seem to smile.

King Pig decides that maybe they would like him more if he looked fancier, so he has the sheep give up their wool and their sleep to make him the fanciest clothes around, but they still don’t seem to like him!

Finally, one little sheep suggests the King might try being ‘nice’ and this leads to a much-needed change. It’s a baby-step, but in the right direction!

Why I love it:

One of my favourite, incredibly old-school sayings is: ‘You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar’ and this book encapsulates that message. I love anything that teaches the importance of kindness and respect and King Pig does that in a light-hearted, Nick Bland, way.

This is a book a few world leaders should read!

Themes to discuss with your child:

  • Kindness
  • Respect
  • Understanding
  • Empathy
  • Listening
  • Humility
  • Sacrifice

Questions to ask your child:

Before reading:
  • What do you think this book might be about?
  • Do you think this is a fiction book (a story) or a non-fiction book (facts)?
  • Is this a book you want to read? Why/why not?
  • Do you recognise the author’s name? Have you read anything else by Nick Bland?
  • Does the pig look like a nice character? What makes you think this?
  • What is one adjective you would use to describe the way the sheep looks?
  • Look closely at the picture on the cover; what is King Pig walking on?
  • What do you think this tells you about the character of King Pig?
After reading:
  • Did you enjoy this story? Why/why not?
  • How do you think you would feel if you were one of the sheep in the story?
  • Why do you think King Pig treated the sheep the way he did?
  • If you were a king (or queen) how would you behave?
  • What do you think is the overall message of this book?
  • If you could say one thing to the sheep, what would you say?
  • If you could say one thing to King Pig, what would you say?

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