Pirate Peter and the Pig, by Simon Grant

Peter was a pirate.
One day he went into a pet shop.
‘I’d like a parrot,’ he said.
‘I’m sorry,’ said the pet shop owner.
‘I’ve run out of parrots. Would you like a pig instead?’

Everyone knows that a pirate needs a parrot and Pirate Peter is no exception. Except that the pet shop has run out of parrots. The pet shop owner is very helpful and offers him an alternative. Peter’s protestations that the pig is not quite right evokes even more assistance. Very little that she offers is quite right. But like all the best pet shop owners, this one is not giving up. Eventually though, Peter is happy. Well, almost. Illustrations are gentle and humourous, with warm colours barely contained within the pages.

Pirate Peter and the Pig is quite absurd, in the best possible way. Pirate Peter is keen to be the best, scariest pirate there is but he’s not really quite sure how that can work. The pet shop owner is full of goodwill and helpful suggestions, which she can’t quite support. The more despondent about his appearance Peter becomes, the wilder her suggestions. Eventually though, her good nature finds a solution. She comes sideways at his problem and gently brings him to happiness. A good fun read. Recommended for pre- and early schoolers.

Pirate Peter and the Pig, Simon Grant ill Jenny Cooper
Scholastic 2009

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author