The Adventures of Nanny Piggins finally reaches America

May 24, 2010 at 7:46 pm Leave a comment

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R. A. Spratt; illustrated by Dan Santat; published by Little, Brown and Company, New York; 2010.

Note: This review is based on an Advance Reader Copy (ARC) provided for free from the publisher.  The book is due  on shelves August 16, 2010 (U.S. shelves, that is; Nanny Piggins’ stories have been available in the author’s native Australia since 2009).

Poor Mr. Green.  Widowed when his wife died in a mysterious boating accident, he is left to raise three children on his own.  With his all-consuming law practice, he hasn’t the time or the patience to deal with the daily chores of child-rearing.  One day, after posting a sign in the yard advertising a nanny position, a knock on the door reveals a candidate.  However, she is not a typical nanny.  She is a pig.  The whole hog, as it were.  As Mr. Green is a rather tight-fisted fellow, he hires the porcine nanny when he learns that her hourly rate is ten cents.  What ensues is chapter after chapter of misadventures, led by a pig with no nanny experience.  Seriously, what kid wouldn’t salivate over a sitter serving chocolate in all its delectable forms for meals?  Or who encourages the children to skip school and learn how to chuck things off the roof?

I laughed at comedy-writer Spratt’s nanny.  She’s kind of a cross between Mary Poppins (the children love her) and any Roald Dahl rascal (politically incorrect and comically “off” center).  However, I found the book more of a collection of short stories as each chapter could really stand alone; I found no ease of transition from one adventure to the next.  For that reason, this would most certainly be a perfect book for read alouds to students in grades 3-5.  Teachers should be aware of this tale.  School librarians, often encouraged to read from chapter books to students in upper elementary grades, will find the book an easy choice.

I think older independent readers, perhaps even into grade 8, will enjoy the humor of these misadventures with happy resolutions.  Reluctant readers in grades 4-6 should enjoy this book because the chapters can be read independent of each other.

I imagine a public (or school) library display including this book with, perhaps, Roald Dahl books, the Nanny McPhee books (and movie!), Mary Poppins on DVD, and other stories of fantastical caregivers.


Entry filed under: ARC or galley, for reluctant readers. Tags: , , , , , .

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Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that sometimes books are received for review for free by publishers or authors. All books (ARCs, galleys, library or purchased) will be reviewed fairly; no special consideration is given to anything reviewed on this blog. In addition, I make every attempt to avoid spoilers. Sometimes they happen inadvertently or because they are important to defend a review; not all spoilers have been removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement included as a warning to readers.

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