Book Review: The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, by RA Spratt

Mr Green desperately needed to find a new nanny for his children. In the four weeks since their last nanny left, he found himself actually having to talk to them, provide them with meals and pay attention to them himself. And all this had to stop. He had a job at a law firm helping rich people avoid paying their taxes. He could not be expected to look after his children as well.

Nanny Piggins is a most unusual nanny. She is a pig. Not just any ordinary pig though, Nanny Piggins has run away from the circus, where she was a star. The Green household is not a happy place since Mrs Green died, leaving her lawyer husband in charge of their three children, Derrick, Samantha and Michael. Mr Green is not at all keen on children and as far as he can see, the less he has to have to do with them, the better. Mr Green is too parsimonious to advertise for a nanny through normal channels and Nanny Piggins is the first applicant. Desperate, Mr Green agrees to employ her until he can find a human nanny. Nanny Piggins may not know a lot about traditional nannying but she has many and varied talents. Life for the Green children is never going to be the same.

There is a one page disclaimer at the front of The Adventures of Nanny Piggins warning that Nanny Piggin’s diet (which consists of chocolate, cake, lollies, icecream and more) is not one to be followed unless you are a pig. Immediately the reader is cued as to Nanny’s temperament and inclinations. It also sets the tone of the story to follow. Nanny Piggins is outrageous, subversive and over-the-top good fun. She is the most childlike of the main characters, although Mr Green has some spectacularly childish behaviours. Derrick, Samantha and Michael are swept along on this wild ride as Nanny Piggins employs some very circus skills in her nannying. They experience since the first time since their mother’s death, a sense of unity and family, despite the continued virtual absence of a father. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.

The Adventures of Nanny Piggins R A Spratt,
Random House 2009
ISBN: 9781741663167

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond.