Friday, 2 May 2014
Review: Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway
Publisher: Walker Books
Released: May 1st, 2014
Pigsticks and Harold set off on a journey to the Ends of the Earth armed only with a sense of adventure (Pigsticks'), common sense (Harold's), and a lot of cake. They pick their way through jungles, trek across deserts and climb a huge mountain, but the Ends of the Earth are always just out of reach. When their last crumb of cake is stolen and it doesn't look like they'll ever make it home again, they finally find the Ends of the Earth - in the last place they'd ever think to look.
Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey is a brilliant graphic novel-type picture book for younger readers. It's perfect for bridging the gap between picture books and 5+ fiction and has just enough text to further a child's reading skills. It's also funny and full of lovely illustrations, animals and cake!
Pigsticks wants to go exploring the ends of the Earth and follow in the footsteps of his noble ancestors, so he talks hamster Harold into accompanying him on his journey as the explorer's assistant. Everything starts off okay until Harold gets tired, is almost choked by a snake and then nearly gets sunk in some sand. He's just not cut out for life as an intrepid assistant, but he soldiers on until all his Battenburg cake gets eaten by greedy goats. Suddenly there's no place quite like home, which just so happens to be called Tuptown and might just be at the ends of the Earth after all.
Pigsticks and Harold make a cracking good team, even though neither of them really know what they're doing. They're on an exciting adventure that could lead them anywhere, with only each other and their budding friendship for comfort. They have fun, they take risks and they appreciate one another, all while trekking across some of the most dangerous terrain in the world. They're dead cute!
Alex Milway has done a fantastic job of illustrating this book, making both Pigsticks and Harold (especially lovely cute little Harold) come to life on the page. I'm sure its intended readership will love everything on offer, from the illustrations to the accompanying text, and it will no doubt make a very popular series of books. I for one am looking forward to returning to Tuptown and all its animal inhabitants, so I hope Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey is the start of a long-lasting series. It's great fun.