British illustrator John S. Goodall created many fiction and non-fiction wordless picturebooks in the second half of the 20th century. This title – a small novelty one with pop-up pages, flaps to lift and a tab to pull – is one in his popular Paddy Pork series of stories.
The cover shows the little pig reading an advert for a job as a waiter. He obviously gets the position as the first spread shows the head waiter introducing Paddy to the kitchen staff.
So far, so good. But the job is in a very smart restaurant and trouble begins when our hero begins to attend to a posh lady poodle wearing a long fur stole.
Almost immediately Paddy’s feet becomes entangled in the stole, and shortly after he finds himself accidentally pulling the posh lady along behind him. The faster Paddy runs away to disentangle himself, the more the lady gets dragged behind him.
Not surprisingly, mayhem ensues as tables are knocked over and food goes flying. Finally both Paddy and the posh lady poodle end up on top of a speeding dessert trolley heading fast for the emergency exit.
In the final scene we see Paddy fleeing down the street while the posh lady’s partner is shaking his fist at the little pig’s retreating back. Sadly it seems Paddy’s waiting career has come to an end before his first day is even over.
This visual story is told in delightful illustrations that feature many cute animals. As the diners watch the disastrous events unfold one lugubrious toad, who had previously been enjoying a quiet after-dinner drink and smoke, suddenly raises his hands in the air in shock and sends his cigar soaring across the room.
The combination of strong plotting, clear characterisation, fun novelties and small size that is easy for young hands to hold makes this witty little book a really appealing read for pre-school children.
See also The Story of a Farm, a non-fiction wordless picture book by John S. Goodall.