Saturday 8 September 2012

Nanny Piggins and the Daring Rescue

Nanny Piggins and the Daring Rescue (Nanny Piggins) Nanny Piggins and the Daring Rescue (Nanny Piggins) by R.A. Spratt (Random House Australia)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9781742754970
Also available as an ebook
ISBN 9781742754987          
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

Nanny Piggins is at it again. She has romped through six book-length adventures and now catapults you into her seventh.

The cover of Nanny Piggins and the Daring Rescue shows this daredevil pig flying through the air as she bungy jumps into the stories between the covers. In the opening scene her charges (after all, she is their nanny), Derrick, Samantha and Michael find her in gaol. She has been trying to one-up Galileo’s theory of gravity by dropping cannonballs from the roof without realising the mayor’s car is in their flight path.

The children’s dour father Mr Green only bails her out, not for his children’s welfare, but because he wants Nanny Piggins to give him tap-dancing lessons that will further his career as a tax lawyer – Nanny’s pig-logic seems to have its effect on the whole family.

Author, R.A. Spratt keeps the reader in stitches with her descriptions of the cake-eating pig wheedling her way out of bizarre situations. She is a law unto herself. If children could write their own criteria for hiring a nanny, Nanny Piggins would tick all the boxes.

Every now and again, Nanny Piggins shows her sensitive side. When the house is being fumigated and they have to camp in tents outside, Nanny Piggins comments wistfully that the tents ‘smell of unhappiness.’ Derrick brings her back to reality by adding ‘I think it’s just mould.’

Nanny’s world is also shared with her circus friends, Boris (a ten-foot-tall ballet-dancing bear), Percy (the radio-star parrot) and her identical fourteenuplet sisters.

Spratt has her tongue firmly in both cheeks as she writes the witty prose. In order to seduce the President of Vanuatu (and rescue the children’s father from the slavery of his luxury job and apartment), Nanny Piggins does the Dance of the Seven Cakes; she ‘wiggled, sashayed and shimmied, all while showing off her greatest assets – her cakes.’

With each chapter being a stand-alone story, it’s easy to pick up this book and read as much or as little as you have time for. Every chapter is a laugh and an excursion into creative problem solving. What’s great for readers is that creativity begets creativity. As you read, you find yourself using your imagination to help solve the predicaments in which Nanny Piggins and the children find themselves. It’s a ‘win-win’ situation.

With such amazing talents, Nanny Piggins is offered many awesome jobs. When you start wondering is there anything this pig cannot do, she brings you back to why she is a nanny. ‘I have a much more important job – looking after these three children.’ No more needs to be said, other than, what lucky children.

With R.A. Spratt’s eighth book Nanny Piggins and the Race to Power in the pipeline for 2013, you have to wonder what wacky adventures await Nanny Piggins, Derrick, Samantha and Michael.

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