Children's Book Review by Susan Stephenson, www.thebookchook.com
Random House Books Australia. The publisher recommends the book for primary-aged children. (Exciting news for US readers: The Adventures of Nanny Piggins is available in the USA. It's been published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.)
Nanny Piggins, the world's most glamorous flying pig, runs away from the circus and goes to live with the Greens as their nanny. The Green children, Derrick, Samantha and Michael, fall in love with her instantly. Who could not fall in love with a Nanny whose only job qualifications are her astonishing ability to be fired out of a cannon and her amazing ability to make chocolate cake, sometimes both at the same time?
Nanny Piggins is a mighty mammal. Her unorthodox methods of child-minding are only matched by her penchant for crazy adventure and ability to think outside the cake-box. Kids will enjoy escapades like Nanny and the children setting off to sail to China - "[Nanny] knew the world was round and China was very big so she was confident that if they headed straight out to sea, they would bump into it eventually." Young readers will giggle over a ten foot tall dancing bear named Boris who must somehow be hidden from the children's father, and the Great Pie Fiasco. I found myself in a constant ripple of laughter and read the book in one sitting.
The Nanny Piggins books remind me a little of books from an earlier time, when characters were not constrained by political correctness and mischief lurked within. I believe Richmal Crompton's hero, William, would feel right at home in the Piggins menage, and the constant feasts put The Faraway food to shame. Fortunately though, The Adventures of Nanny Piggins is prefaced by a warning from R.A.Spratt that young readers should not attempt to emulate the Piggins diet. Luckily, there were no warnings for book chooks.
Kids who love series will be delighted that this is the first of many books starring Nanny and the Green children. The Adventures of Nanny Piggins is perfect for reading aloud to kids, perhaps as a family or class serial, because each chapter is a stand-alone adventure. I predict that Librarians who like to hand-sell books will find that kids are eager to go on and read the rest of the book themselves.
You can listen to a chapter read-aloud by the author herself on her website. You can also see Nanny on video. And if you still need convincing before you race out and buy this book for the loved children in your lives, read the words of Nanny Piggins:
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins’ is more than a biography - it is infobiopigtainment. It is educational for parents. Thrilling for children. And revealing for pigs, as it confirms our worst suspicions, that humans are dirty greedy creatures.
Yours Sincerely,Nanny Piggins F.P. (Flying Pig)
Don't you just love books and authors that do everything possible to kindle kids' enthusiasm for reading! There are also incredibly helpful teacher notes available at the Random House website. I know that because I created them!
Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.