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When Pigs Fly

THE ADVENTURES OF NANNY PIGGINS ($15.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, ages 8-12), by R.A. Spratt with illustrations by Dan Santat is reviewed today by Lindy Michaels of Bookstar on Ventura Blvd. in Studio City.

51s07k6nofl_sl500_aa300_Widower, workaholic taxman, Mr. Green, was desperately in need of a nanny for his three children. Now, we all know how hard it is to find good help these days and so it was, that is, until Nanny Piggins showed up at Mr. Green’s front door, one dark and stormy night. Since, unfortunately, he didn’t take much of an interest in his children and Ms. Piggins had no criminal record and could start immediately, he hired her on the spot. So what if she was a… PIG! On the other hand, she was very smart, well spoken and dressed with a flair.

Now believe me when I tell you, Nanny Piggins wasn’t just any old ordinary pig. She had been, of all things, a high-flying pig in a circus. As it turned out, after many years she had become tired of being shot out of a canon, night after night and decided to find a new profession for her adorable pink pig self. Did I mention that she was also totally addicted to chocolate? This, alone, made the children love her immediately, since Nanny Piggins always shared with them the sweet treats she constantly whipped up.

And so began the adventures of living with Nanny Piggins. There was the almost ‘sinking’ boat ride in the direction of China. Besides chocolate, Nanny Piggins also loved and devoured duck with noodles, sweet and sour chicken and mmm … squid soup. Fried pork, not so much, for obvious reasons. There was the rotten circus Ringmaster who tried to take Nanny back to the circus. Then there was the burglar, whose thieving she thwarted, the evil aunt of the children she outsmarted. Oh! And did I mention the pie-making contest fiasco?

I do believe former U.S. Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, said it best on the book’s back cover. “The most exciting saga about a flying pig nanny ever told. There is a laugh on every page and a lesson in there somewhere.” And I wholeheartedly agree. I laughed out loud at Nanny Piggin’s antics. Funny, funny, funny. A pure delight. This book is a real hoot (or should I say snort) for readers ages 8 and up.

lindymichaelspicThe very versatile Lindy Michaels aims to inspire young minds through children’s literature. Lindy owned L.A.’s first children’s bookshop, OF BOOKS AND SUCH (1972-1987) where she did storytelling, taught drama to children, had art and poetry contests and the like. According to Lindy, “It was truly a ‘land of enchantment.” She also spent years lecturing on realism in children’s literature at colleges in the state. For close to five years Lindy has worked for Studio City Barnes and Noble (BookStar) in the children’s section and does storytelling every Saturday at 10:30 a.m.

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