‘Can anyone remember what the figurines looked like?’ asked Nanny Piggins.
‘All I can remember is that they were ugly,’ said Boris.
Nanny Piggins, Boris and the children were in the living room looing at the shattered remnants of the late Grandma Green’s figurine collection. The ten miniature statues had accidentally been smashed in a particularly athletic game of charades. (Nanny Piggins had set a vase of flowers on fire when acting out the book title Bonfire of the Vanities. Then had to leap to safety before her hair was caught up in the inferno.)
‘I think one of the figurines was a woman with a dog,’ said Michael. ‘I’m pretty sure those green bits were a mermaid,’ said Derrick.
‘And one was a milkmaid with a cow…or a goat…but definitely something you milked,’ added Samantha.
Nanny Piggins is back in a third collection of wild adventures. Nanny Piggins is a pig. Mr Green hired her because he was desperate, and she was cheap. He’s been trying to get rid of her ever since. The children, Michael, Derrick and Samantha, think Nanny Piggins is wonderful. She is their champion, particularly when their father tries to have them shipped off to boarding school. Nanny Piggins has less than orthodox views on child-rearing and manages to leap from adventure to adventure with hardly a ruffle through her perfectly arranged hair. In ‘Nanny Piggins and the Runaway Lion’, Nanny and the children have to face runaway lions, headmasters, Neighbourhood Watch and sneaky siblings, all with the aid of cake and chocolate.
There is no end to Nanny Piggins’ talents and acquaintances (or sisters). She champions the underdog (or bear) and relishes any opportunity to show her talents. She is protective of her charges even when struggling to understand the rules of schools and families and society. She is fearless, the sort of guardian angel children must wish was real. Her antics are outrageous and beyond far-fetched, and just when you think she’s stuck in a corner, she pulls out another new trick and ta-da, she wins to eat another day. Each chapter is an adventure on it’s own as she joins Olympic teams, organises a redesign of the school uniform and rewrites Shakespeare. Guaranteed to bring on the giggles. Recommended for mid- to upper-primary readers.
Nanny Piggins and the Runaway Lion, R. A. Spratt
Random House Australia 2010
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author
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