A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters and Ellie Snowdon
|A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters and Ellie Snowdon|
|Category: For Sharing|
|Reviewer: Tony Taylor|
|Summary: One for all animal lovers. This is the first in a series of books with Jasmine Green as the main character. Fantastic writing by Helen Peters: drama, friendship, wonderful descriptive language and a heart-warming feel. Brilliantly illustrated by Ellie Snowdon too.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 144||Date: October 2016|
|Publisher: Nosy Crow Ltd|
Living on a farm, with her father who works as a farmer and a mother who is a farm-vet, Jasmine has spent all her young life learning how to care for animals. On a visit to a neighbouring farm, Jasmine is excited to see the new baby piglets. Expecting to see eleven piglets, she is stunned to find one extra - a tiny little runt hiding in the corner. Being smaller than her hand, the farmer has no sympathy and expects it to die by the end of the day. Of course, Jasmine can't allow this to happen. The story is then set for a struggle to save the smallest piglet, called Truffle.
What a fantastic story. Many may think that A Pig Called Truffle would be aimed at girls. However, the story has universal appeal. I would rather categorise it as a book for anyone who loves animals. I felt myself willing for Truffle on numerous occasions and wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen. Helen Peters’ writing is excellent. She builds the drama effortlessly without overly drawn out passages where the story doesn't develop. There are beautiful descriptive moments to build up the warm sense of Christmas or the night of the storm. With her writing, the word choices are always well selected and appropriate for the reading age of approximately 6-9 years old, although I know children in Year 6 in my class would thoroughly enjoy this story, so I wouldn't like to cap the age at 9. She only includes words which children will understand, they will not be put off by language that is too difficult, this will make reading a pleasure. Produced by Nosy Crow, they suggest that Helen Peters is a Dick King Smith for a new generation. I would definitely agree with this and I also think there are similarities to Michael Morpurgo's animal-based books.
To further engage the reader, Ellie Snowdon has beautifully illustrated this book. Her pencil drawings are fantastic and help to convey the setting on the farm and the changing season. Her illustrations really add to the story - I spent time looking at these detailed drawings before continuing. Definitely not something to skip over. My 7-year-old son, thought her illustrations were amazing and was captivated by them.
Jasmine Green, the main character, can be seen by children as an excellent role model. She clearly shows children that, with a passion for something and a sense of adventure, anything can be achieved. Jasmine is a character who I really wanted to succeed. Coming in March 2017 is another Jasmine Green adventure: A Duckling Called Buttons and in June 2017 the third book in the series: A Sheepdog Called Sky. I can easily see a further growing series of these books.
For further reading, I would recommend Jo-Jo The Melon Donkey by Michael Morpurgo and Helen Stephens. Many thanks to Nosy Crow for sending this review copy to The Bookbag. Older children might appreciate Helen Peters' Evie's Ghost.
A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters and Ellie Snowdon is in the Top Ten Children's Picture Books 2016.
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You can read more book reviews or buy A Piglet Called Truffle by Helen Peters and Ellie Snowdon at Amazon.com.
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