Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom! by Pip Jones and Adam Stower
|Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom! by Pip Jones and Adam Stower|
|Category: Emerging Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: There's a little bit of animated slapstick here, but I found the egotistical hero to be a little too conceited to be truly likeable.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 192||Date: August 2017|
|Publisher: Faber and Faber|
|External links: Author's website|
Meet Piggy Handsome. He is a very bequiffed guinea pig, and he is frustrated that everyone in his long line of Handsome guinea pigs has become famous for something, except him. Annoyed that he has not even got his face in the local newspaper, he has complained to his friend Jeffry the Budgie more than once. But on this day, Jeff has a chance to solve the issue and get some peace and quiet for himself – there is a chip eating contest in town. But can Piggy get there in time, can he down a bowl of chips quickly enough to win, and what about the pair of idiot thieves that also have something on their mind?
I thought to get a little more out of this than I did. Piggy, while a perfectly conceited and very vain character, did not come across as hilarious as hoped. Yes, the world we're in of the animal friends constantly leaving their cages behind us humans' backs is fine, but still there was a bit of room for improvement in how we met him. Perhaps this will come to the fore should this become a full series as intended – by which time his fancy wardrobe and inept karate skills could have grown on me. As he is, he's OK – just a failure at being upwardly mobile, and fond of finishing off everyone's sentences and claiming their ideas and efforts as his own. In other words, to the adult at least, he's not exactly as likeable as required.
Jeff likewise isn't quite there – perhaps as, like the book says, he cannot exactly be the smirking and sarcastic character he needs to be, what with his inability to get his beak to smile. No, if anything the idiot thieves are the better inventions, fresh from the pages of Roald Dahl in both attitude and look, if these illustrations are anything to go by, and providing the funniest scene of the lot. The brief description of the animals' owner reminds you of the fat maid-type woman in Tom and Jerry, and there's even a repetition of a Father Ted joke, although a very tame one.
All that aside, there is a reasonable adventure here, and the target audience – definitely in the single figures, age-wise – should get more out of things than I did. There is fun to be had with the very mild slapstick of the animals burning off steam with a pond-hopping game of their own invention, and the conveyance they employ to get to the competition grounds is fun, and would look really good animated for TV. But to my mind this opening volume lacks a small proportion of attack, and quite a large percentage of the likeability, to make me want to rush to buy more. Come here only if your young reader knows all about schadenfreude.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
The author's other series, that began with Squishy McFluff: the Invisible Cat! by Pip Jones is, happily, ongoing.
You can read more book reviews or buy Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom! by Pip Jones and Adam Stower at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Piggy Handsome: Guinea Pig Destined for Stardom! by Pip Jones and Adam Stower at Amazon.com.
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