Nanny Piggins and the Runaway Lion,
by R.A. Spratt,
@ SPL: J FIC Sprat
Meet Nanny Piggins. Yes, she is a pig, as well as a nanny…. but what a nanny!
Once a circus acrobat, Nanny Piggins is now the amazing caregiver of the three Green children: Derrick, Samantha and Michael. Unmatched among nannies in bravery, agility and cleverness, she also boasts an unbeatable flying leg lock and a talent for making chocolate cake. It’s safe to say that there’s nothing “ordinary” about Nanny Piggins and her adventures!
Most importantly, the Green children adore her.
In this hilarious book, Nanny’s madcap escapades (shared with the Green children) include thwarting Mr. Green’s plans to send the children to a faraway boarding school, rescuing a kidnapped author, capturing a very clever burglar, revising Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Hamlet, revolutionizing the sport of ski jumping in the Italian Alps and as the title of the book suggests, encountering a runaway circus lion.
Even a broken ankle doesn’t deter this intrepid pig, as she uses her recuperation time to foil a gang of international thieves!
When young readers finish this book, they may wish for a Nanny Piggins of their own. As this isn’t possible, of course, the best alternative is to read about more of her escapades and exploits, in Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan.
** Recommended for ages eight to 11.
The Year of Billy Miller,
by Kevin Henkes,
@ SPL: J FIC Henke
A new book by award-winning children’s author Kevin Henkes is always worthy of note, and The Year of Billy Miller is no exception.
The events, incidents and experiences of Billy Miller’s year in second grade are not extraordinary or amazing (like those of Nanny Piggins), but the ordinariness of his experiences contributes to the realism and authenticity of this heart-warming, yet funny, chapter book.
Billy begins the school year with a small bump on his head (due to an unlucky fall) and some big anxieties about his new teacher, classmates and school work. Is he smart enough for second grade? Will he like his new teacher, and will she like him? Will he get along with his classmates?
During the year Billy learns much about relationships and getting along with people (even with the class know-it-all) through his interactions with others. He learns how to deal with stage fright, discovers new abilities, and becomes more self-confident.
Newly independent readers who are beginning to read chapter books will enjoy sharing this thoroughly likeable second-grader’s “wonderfully ordinary” experiences at school, at home and with his friends.
** Recommended for ages six to 10.
–Sally Hengeveld, librarian