From Rob Harrell, author of Wink and Monster on the Hill, comes a new superhero, ready to take down the bad guys. In Batpig: When Pigs Fly, young readers are introduced to Gary Yorkshire, a young pig with superpowers galore. And with his loyal friends by his side, this pig can take on anything, no matter how ridiculous the situation may become.

Middle schooler pig Gary Yorkshire had a normal life. He went to school, ate sandwiches all day long, and played cards with his two best friends, Brooklyn the bat and Carl the fish. But when Brooklyn (who happens to be radioactive) accidentally bites Gary’s nose, he starts to gain a variety of superpowers. With his new powers of super strength, telekinesis, flight, and x-ray vision, Gary becomes Batpig, the city’s newest superhero. So far, Gary’s heroic deeds include arresting thieves and yelling at litter bugs, but he is soon put to the test when a giant lizard, a crazed butcher, and a pig in a blanket making robot terrorize the city.

Rob Harrell’s newest book will leave readers laughing until the very end. He combines zany humor, fourth wall breaks, and pop culture references that even adults can enjoy. The graphic novel’s layout with action word usage and narration is reminiscent of superhero comics from the golden age. But all that aside, it is also a story of friendships and finding enjoyment in your daily life, whether it be reading comic books or reconnecting with friends. Harrell’s cartoony art style will attract young graphic novel readers with his bright color palette and a diverse cast of characters (amongst the animal characters, you have some human characters here and there). He uses minimal background art so readers will focus on the characters’ dialogue and personalities, as well as their appearances.

With hilarious dialogue, an action-packed story, and superhero references, Rob Harrell has created a new superhero for fans of Dav Pilkey’s Captain Underpants and Dog Man books. It is a must have for all children’s library collections (public and elementary), especially those with patrons in Grades 3-5. And if they want more, the next book in the series will be out summer 2022.

Batpig: When Pigs Fly
By Rob Harrell
Penguin Random House Dial Books, 2021
ISBN: 9780593354155
Publisher Age Rating: 7-11

NFNT Age Recommendation: Middle Grade (7-11)

  • Gloria

    | She/Her Children's Librarian, Elmont Memorial Library

    Gloria is a full-time children’s librarian at the Elmont Memorial Library in Long Island, New York where she runs a monthly STEAM program, a graphic novel book club, and storytime for preschoolers. During her free time, she is found reading anything and everything from the classics, to poetry, to the newest best seller. Her other interests include writing, online games, exploring new areas in her home state, and spending time with friends, family, and colleagues. She has also written articles and reviews for the website Cosplay, Comics, and Geek Culture in Libraries and on her personal Goodreads page.

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