I’ve had quite a few adventures but nothing like the one these two intrepid travellers experience in this delightful early chapter book.
Determined to achieve something memorable, Pigsticks, accompanied by Harold the hamster, is going in search of where no pig has gone before…to the Ends of the Earth. Pigsticks is full of excitement, Harold is weighed down with a backpack full of Pigsticks’ belongings. When they run out of cake and are confronted by goats it looks like everything will end in disaster. Will they discover the Ends of the Earth. And more importantly, will they make it safely back home…
A confident pig who is determined to do something none of his ancestors achieved, a hamster who has no idea what he is getting into and some angry goats who threaten to ruin everything make for a silly and sweet story that delivers pure enjoyment to a young audience. The entertaining adventure will keep readers turning the pages to see what is happening next and what predicament Harold might unwittingly find himself in.
Fun and misadventure ensue as the duo trek through jungles, skip over crocodile infested waters, navigate rickety rope bridges, wade through hot desert sands and climb mountains. With the Ends of the Earth remaining elusively out of touch, almost within reach but never quite close enough, the duo plough on, one determined to reach his goal, the other keen to get the promised cake. To be fair to Harold, who wouldn’t keep on trekking when there’s lemon drizzle cake and Battenburg to be eaten once you arrive.
The loveable duo are characters that young readers will quickly come to adore. An unlikely partnership they may be, the relationship between the two delivers much humour, warmth and charm. Confident and assured Pigsticks is the complete opposite to the rather scared and unadventurous Harold and the fact that Pigsticks remains blissfully unaware what his travelling companion is experiencing for much of the story provides many funny moments. At one point, Harold is wrapped up by a boa constrictor and Pigsticks chirps, “I can hardly breathe for all the fun that I’m having.” Alex Milway delivers plenty of this dead-pan humour both through the text and his artwork.
Told over three chapters, the story skips along at a delightful pace with an abundance of colourful and energetic illustrations that are bursting with visual jokes. Particular favourites are some of the famous faces of Pigsticks’ ancestors that include Emmeline Pighurst, King Pigwin and Amelia Pigheart. The works of arts he owns by Pigasso and Pigvard Munch are also a hit.
Budding adventurers will enjoy the exploits of this intrepid duo. Best enjoyed with a nice slice of cake.
Recommended for 5+.