Nanny Piggins and the Wicked PlanR.A. Spratt’s Nanny Piggins series is definitively the funniest children’s chapter book series I’ve read to my kids. If you haven’t read the series’ first installment, The Adventures of Nanny Piggins, you’re truly missing out. A quick recap: Nanny Piggins (a talking pig) becomes the Nanny for Derrick, Samantha, and Michael, who are without a mother. Their father, Mr. Green, is not particularly interested in raising children, but only in a way that allows for hilarity (not in any serious or emotionally damaging capacity). The character of Nanny Piggins is a former circus pig (she was the subject shot out canons) with a penchant for all things chocolate and cake related. She consistently leads the children on absurd activities and spouts strange advice, especially for someone holding a position of responsibility over children – but occasionally she shines hints of wisdom through her ridiculousness.

Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan is rated Buy Two! (One for You, One for a Friend)

In Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan, Nanny Piggins once again leads Derrick, Samantha, and Michael on twelve (one per chapter) comical adventures. The Wicked Plan itself, refers to Mr. Green’s attempt to get married (his motivation being that if he married, he would no longer need to pay a Nanny, as his new wife would assume all Nanny-related responsibilities without the need of a salary). This wicked plan pops up throughout the book, but most of the stories can be read independently.

Wicked Plan is just as good as the first, maybe even better (it’s about 50 pages longer, so more chances to laugh). While many of the topics may go over younger children’s heads (Jury Duty, Weight Loss, Educational Philosophies, Medical Care, Jail Breaks), there is more than enough pricelessly riotous material for the children to understand and laugh at. And did I mention this book is great for adults, too. It has been a full family out loud read for ages 3 through … adult.

One example of the wisdom/absurdity of Nanny Piggins’ character occurs on her day as headmaster of the children’s school when she destroys all of the school’s required English texts by sending them through a wood chipper.

Both because the pages provided excellent mulch for the school gardens and because she allowed the children to read books they might actually enjoy, having formed the radical theory that if children were allowed to enjoy reading, they were likely to read more.

Not a bad theory…

Both The Adventures of Nanny Piggins and Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan are available in the United States. There are currently 6 Nanny Piggins books published (with two more set to be published in 2013 for a total of 8). Sadly, the rest are only available in Australia (R.A. Spratt’s home), New Zealand and possibly the UK, with no future release date set (as far as I can tell). This makes me very sad. Hopefully it will change soon.

Book Information:

  • Reading Level: Grade 3-6
  • Interest: Age 4-12
  • Pages: 294
  • Pictures: 1 Picture per chapter
  • Main Characters: 1 Pig, 2 Boys, 1 Girl
  • Genre: Humor, Fiction