Cover image for When the pigs took over
When the pigs took over
Dorros, Arthur.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Dutton Children's Books, 2002.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 28 cm
Don Carlos likes to do everything in a big way, but his idea to serve lots of snails in his restaurant nearly destroys the whole village.
Reading Level:
AD 360 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 2.9 0.5 57181.

Reading Counts RC K-2 2.8 2 Quiz: 28651 Guided reading level: L.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



Don Carlos wants more. "iMas! " he says. More! More of what? More of everything!he likes to wear more than one hat (sometimes ten at a time). He likes more than one flavour of ice cream. (He'll eat several cones at once.) But most of all, he likes to serve more at his restaurant, the only one in town. Everyone loves to eat his huge platters of food and listen to his little brother Alonzo's beautiful violin playing. One day, Don Carlos decides to add an extra dish to his menu, caracoles - snails! But he wants more snails, and mas, and iMAS! Unfortunately, the snails have their own dining plans, and soon the town is overrun by the pesky creatures. It is up to little Alonzo to save the day, but not before his big brother brings a lot more trouble to town. This is a riotous tale of two brothers - one small but enormously sensible, one big but a little crazy - told with the warmth and sprinkling of Spanish found in Arthur Dorros's other beloved, groundbreaking books, Abuela and Isla.

Author Notes

Arthur Dorros, an author and occasional illustrator, was born in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 1950. He attended and graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a B.A. degree in 1972. He received his postgraduate teaching certification from Pacific Oaks College in 1979. He has worked odd jobs in his youth such as: builder, carpenter, drafter and photographer. He was a teacher for both elementary and junior high. He was the artist in residence for more than a dozen New York public schools while running programs in creative writing and bookmaking. Some of his children's books are written in both English and Spanish. He also writes books that deal with science and nature. Ant Cities and Feel the Wind were named Outstanding Science Trade Books for Children by the National Science Teachers Association/Children's Book Council and A Tree is Growing was named an Orbis Pictus Honor Book. He has received the Reading Rainbow Review book selections award for three of his books - Alligator Shoes, Ant Cities and Abuela.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4-8. "!Mas!" --more--is the motto of Alonzo's older brother Don Carlos. Deciding to serve snails at his restaurant, the duo gather wheelbarrows full of snails and then gather more. When the snails escape and start eating everything in sight, Alonzo suggests birds to eat the snails. "Mas," insists Don Carlos. Too many birds? Pigs will drive them away. "Mas," says Don Carlos. The pigs go on a rampage, so Alonzo suggests music to lure the pigs out of the village. When the music the villagers make is terrible, Don Carlos cries, "!No mas!" But Alonzo insists, "!Mas!" and the villagers play louder, until their racket forces the swine to flee. Don Carlos finally realizes that more is not always better; however, Alonzo now wants "Mas," more practice for the band. The illustrator of several picture books, including We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past (1997), Greenseid conveys this fiesta of cumulative chaos in robust and colorful illustrations that tumble across the pages. Mark this as a Latino alternative to the Woods' King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (1985), and then count on kids demanding "!Mas!" --Annie Ayres

Publisher's Weekly Review

A surfeit of snails, a bevy of blackbirds and a plethora of pigs take turns overrunning a New Mexican town in Dorros's (Abuela) comic tale of two very different siblings. Grandiose restaurateur Don Carlos (wearing several hats, turquoise boots and an oversize monogrammed belt buckle) applies his more-is-better-thinking to the menu, adding snails to the lineup and sets off an entire chain of events. He enlists his violin-playing (and more pragmatic) younger brother, Alonzo, to gather wheelbarrows full of the gastropods. Greenseid's (Mrs. Piccolo's Easy Chair) cheery paintings, saturated in fiesta-bright colors, inject hilarity into the proceedings. Slightly plump people and edifices recoil from the infestation of caracoles winding among the village streets. Alonso suggests they bring in birds to eat the snails, and then pigs. Each time, Don Carlos calls for m s, with disastrous results: in one spread, frantic townsfolk hide under umbrellas and in garbage cans while birds nest atop heads and commandeer a baby carriage. Other vignettes chronicle the pigs' pursuit of food as they topple iceboxes, upend barrels and break dishes in the restaurant. With a variation on the Pied Piper theme, Alonzo leads the villagers in a band to expel the swine; the people pick up instruments and their cacophonous tunes do the trick. Spiced with Spanish phrases, this story and its clever ending will have children calling for m s when it's through. Ages 4-8. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 2-Don Carlos is one flamboyant dude. He always goes just a bit over the top, whether he's wearing seven hats at once, eating four ice-cream cones at a time, or deciding to expand the menu at his restaurant. "M s!" "More!" is his constant refrain. His much younger brother, Alonzo, is the polar opposite-the soul of restraint. Believing in common sense and moderation, he indulges in only one thing-extravagant violin playing at the restaurant. He tries continually (and unsuccessfully) to rein in Don Carlos, but to no avail. However, when Carlos decides he simply must serve snails as one of his entres, he begins a chain of events that results in a change for both brothers. This humorous, gentle story smoothly incorporates Spanish words and phrases (defined, with pronunciation, in the glossary at the front of the book) into a rollicking narrative that will carry young listeners with it. Greenseid's antic, primitive acrylic illustrations in bright, hot colors provide a fitting accompaniment to this jazzy tale. Pair this story with Margot Zemach's It Could Always Be Worse (Farrar, 1990) for a look at the nature of surfeit and the lessons it teaches.-Ann Welton, Grant Elementary School, Tacoma, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.