Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Suicidefood Book Report: Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher

In this, our fourth suicidefood book report, we continue our tradition of dabbling at the surface of books we haven't fully, completely finished. Or perhaps even begun. (Reacquaint yourself with our previous reports: Animals Make Us Human, Endgame, and Punk Farm.)

Our subject this time around is Baxter, the Pig Who Wanted to Be Kosher  (Tricycle Press, 978-1582463155) by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by David Goldin.

[Editor's note: It's possible—just maybe—that, in relying on a particular source, we may have misrepresented the nature of the book in question, as thoughtful commenters have lovingly pointed out. Integrity Laziness compels us to keep the following as originally written.]

According to the blurb at amazon.com, it would appear this charming picture book is actually a chilling tale of premature animal dementia (PAD). As they put it:
"Baxter desperately wants to experience Shabbat dinner, the special Friday-night meal that ushers in the Jewish day of rest. [...] When he learns that pork is a forbidden food according to Jewish law, he stuffs his face with kosher pickles and raisin challah, hoping to become kosher. He even tries, unsuccessfully, to become a cow."
And you're surprised that suicidefoodism lingers? That it spreads like illness? That it lurks in the forgotten corners of the cultural hive, waiting waiting waiting to regroup, to regrow, to re-emerge and conquer!

Baxter—dear, foolish Baxter—wants so badly to experience everything the humans experience that he thinks nothing of attempting to make himself edible. The adorable string of misadventures he embarks on have at their center a trusting pig's desire to make himself the centerpiece of their holiday celebration. Not, you understand, to finagle an invitation, but to make his very flesh suitable for his hosts' consumption.

(Thanks to Dr. RandiJM for the referral.)

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

If it matters at all, the pig is eventually dissuaded from becoming dinner and joins the table as a guest instead...

Noelle said...

Sorry guys, you've got it entirely wrong, as does the Amazon listing. Not even close, in fact. This is one of my kids' favorite stories and we're all vegetarians. Baxter is horrified when he learns after all of his attempts to become kosher (in order to be invited to Shabbat dinner) that to BE Kosher means that he would be eaten. It is a semantic twist that eventually ends with Baxter invited to the table as an honored guest, not the main course. It is delightful and a great lesson in hospitality. While I respect what you are trying to do here, I respectfully suggest that you read the books you review before trying to deconstruct them.

Mara said...

Ditto. I've always found your site hilarious, but I really wish people would read books before ridiculing them. Not cool.

Anonymous said...

wow, this is inane - what kind of morons are you?

kellybarnhill said...

When we read the book before posting our inane, ill-informed commentaries, we sound less.....idiotic. FYI. If you were my student, I'd write "See Me" at the bottom of your paper, and insist that you try again.

Homeshuling said...

You couldn't manage to "finish" a 32 page picture book? Perhaps you should choose someone else to do your book reviews.

Ben said...

Six comments? We haven't seen six comments in one day for ages!

What we should probably start doing is book title reports. Then we'd be dead on and wouldn't have to strain ourselves.

Hoot Gibson said...

Hey! God damn it! Don't bash them so hard for shooting off the hip on a book title! So what if they got this one wrong?! You beat 'em over the head like an old Jewish lady reminding her husband to bring home the gavel-ta fish! Do you sit around all day reading blogs hoping someone fucks up so you can rant?

Don't like the blog? hit the fuckin' road.

Anonymous said...

What an odd book. What do they end up eating? Carcasses of other animals? Why doesn't the pig boycott the celebration upon learning what kosher actually is? Horrifying.