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.

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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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