When Pigsticks, a pig with wanderlust, teams up with Harold the hamster, anything can happen.
Pigsticks wants to be just like his ancestor, Col. Pigslet, who traveled to the Ends of the Earth. Unlike the colonel, Pigsticks intends to make it back alive. But he needs an assistant and interviews just about everyone in Tuptown; alas, no one is worthy. And then he meets Harold, who is convinced to join the trip with the promise of three cakes as payment. Silliness ensues as the two make the seemingly never-ending trek through jungles and up mountains and into avalanches to the Ends of the Earth. Humorous cartoon illustrations appear on most pages and extend the text, adding to the chuckles. One especially funny picture shows Harold being squeezed by a boa constrictor while the text remarks, “he wasn’t having quite so much fun.” The story needs the humor. Many very challenging words (“Battenburg,” “persuasive,” “intrepid,” “ravine,” “evasive maneuvers” “ascent,” “unconvinced”) make this a stiff read, even for confident emergent readers. Most pages contain just a few sentences, but a few are so filled with words that many children will be left frustrated.
It’s funny, but as a book for beginning readers—which it’s billed as—it misses the mark. (Early reader. 6-9)