A Piggy Pickle (Pip Street) by Jo Simmons

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A Piggy Pickle (Pip Street) by Jo Simmons

Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: John Lloyd
Reviewed by John Lloyd
Summary: A third gentle comedy drama from this series, as a neighbourhood's blackouts are found to have a most mysterious cause.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 176 Date: March 2014
Publisher: Scholastic
ISBN: 9781407132839

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Problems are mounting for the people of Pip Street. Every evening the power goes out, so the whole street is plunged into darkness – not good for Bobby who's still young enough to be scared of the dark. Nor is it good news for the mysteriously popular new electrical shop at the end of the road – could all the gadgets bought at Gizmo World be the cause? Well, given the cover artwork and title of this adventure, I think the answer is a roundly firm NO, but there's really no harm in finding out what the action does involve.

This is the third in this gentle series of detective stories for the under-tens. The writing is probably for those who can pick and choose their own books, and they will hardly find anything to be a problem here, beyond the vocabulary – of both real and imagined words – of Bobby's best friend Imelda. Heck, they might even fall for the red herring of the electrical shop for a while. Meanwhile the style of the narrative is more akin to that from a friendly adult – warm and humorous metaphors, a chatty approach, and a slightly quaint feel to it, most evident perhaps on the very last page (no peeking).

The drama as such offers no real surprises for the adult but I think just about manages to do enough for the young reader – adults being silly, adults being mysterious, cats going wrong. There's a vague touch of the surreal, an empowered and vital performance from Imelda, and a good narrative drive – it is hard to see how many more cliffhangers could have been crowbarred into something so slight.

That slightness isn't a huge problem, inasmuch as you can't expect anything earth-shattering, nor too many rereads, of this book. But the old-fashioned appeal (and perhaps help for some readers to overcome night fears of their own) is prominent, and the series shows no hiccup at this stage. For an adventure based mostly in the dark, it is both quite bright and breezy, and I can recommend it.

I must thank the publishers for my review copy.

A Crumpet Calamity, the second in the series, is also well worth a look - although it has a noticeably wackier style than this entrant to the series. You will also enjoy Geek Inc: The Impossible Boy by Mark Griffiths.

Buy A Piggy Pickle (Pip Street) by Jo Simmons at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Piggy Pickle (Pip Street) by Jo Simmons at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy A Piggy Pickle (Pip Street) by Jo Simmons at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy A Piggy Pickle (Pip Street) by Jo Simmons at Amazon.com.


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