Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Book Review of The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt

"The most exciting saga about a flying pig nanny ever told.  There is a laugh on every page and a lesson in there somewhere.  I recommend it highly."                                           - former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine K. Albright
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins
The Adventures of Nanny Piggins by R.A. Spratt and illustrated by Dan Santat

The blurb:
When the world's most glamorous nanny just happens to be a pig.

When Mr. Green plants a NANNY WANTED sign on his front lawn, he has no idea the ad will be answered by a pig.  Yes, a pig.  A fabulously sassy and impeccably dressed pig, as a matter of fact! With her insatiable urge to eat chocolate (and feed chocolate to everyone she loves), her high-flying spirit, and her unending sense of fun, Nanny Piggins takes the children on a year of surprises, adventures, and sugar highs that they'll never forget.

Paired with Dan Santat's charming illustrations, comedian and children's TV writer R.A. Spratt's wildly funny debut novel will have children and kids alike laughing and rooting for the feisty porcine nanny and her lovable human charges.

The book is eye-catching and with the endorsement from Madeleine Albright, I couldn't wait to start reading.

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins reminded me of P.L. Travers's Mary Poppins with the nanny suddenly showing up to respond to a wanted ad that is practically invisible.  And just as Mary Poppins brought all sorts of treats and magic to the Banks children, Nanny Piggins vastly improves the lives of the three Green children.

But the Banks had two loving parents, even if Mr. Banks was a little distracted by his work at the bank.  Mr. Green is much less sympathetic with his "job at a law firm helping rich people avoid paying their taxes" and his belief that  "he could not be expected to look after his children as well." 

The book also reminds me of Betty Macdonald's Mrs. Piggy-Wiggle because of the animals and adventures that seem to follow in Nanny Piggins.  Perhaps also because of the names of the characters are a bit similar?  Although Nanny Piggins doesn't teach the children life lessons or use all sorts of magic to curb bad behavior the way that Mrs. Piggy Wiggle does, Nanny Piggins brings a  sense of  adventure to the kids' lives. 

A playful and updated version of a nanny story, The Adventures of Nanny Piggins is a delightful, beautifully illustrated book that is sure to appeal to child everywhere.

ISBN-10: 0316068195 - Hardcover $ 15.99
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 16, 2010), 256 pages.
Review copy provided by the publisher.

About the Author and Illustrator:
R.A. Spratt is an award-winning comedy writer with twelve years of experience in the Australian television industry.  She lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband and daughter.  Unlike Nanny Piggins, she has never willingly been shot out of a cannon. You can find her at www.raspratt.com

Dan Santat is a children's book writer and illustrator and Nanny Piggin's neighober. He graduated from Art Center College of Design and lives in California with his family, a rabbit, a bird, and one cat (but no pig -- she lives next door).  You can visit him at www.dantat.com

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