The Making of “Piggy”
Piggy Pie Po is a magical book with a magical history. It’s origins are nearly lost in the mists of time. When Don and Audrey were first married they lived in the country and a friend who lived nearby had a pig. Audrey loved the pig, so she named it Piggy Pie Po and sang songs to it.
Piggy Pie Po loved to lounge in his nice cool house, and when Audrey visited, he was nearly always hidden inside. Audrey named his house the Pie Po Re, and she would call him out with this song, which she didn’t use in the book:
Where’s my Piggy Pie? Where’s my Piggy Pie? Where can my Piggy Pie be? Ohhhh, Piggy Pie Po, Piggy Piggy Pie Po, He’s down in the Pie Po Ree.
Years later she remembered the songs and they were the inspiration for our new book, Piggy Pie Po.
The story of the paintings in Piggy Pie Po is also interesting. Audrey was going to illustrate the book, so she proceeded as artists nearly always do, she drew the picture first, then planned to paint them. Don saw the
drawings and loved them, and since he had just finished his book, Into the Volcano, he didn’t have anything to paint. He asked Audrey if he could paint her drawings, and Audrey agreed. That’s why on the title page of the book, it says, “drawn by Audrey Wood, painted by Don Wood.”
Don says that painting someone else’s drawings is very strange. It’s as if you have lived all your life as one artist, painting drawings that you have made. Then one day you wake up and you are painting drawings that look completely different. It’s as if you have suddenly become a different artist. Don also mentioned that he learned many new art lessons by becoming a different artist and painting Audrey’s drawings.
If you are curious to see an artist at work, here is Don painting “Piggy can’t tie his shoes,” on the patio.