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Reviewed by Deepak Menon for Readers' Favorite
Sir Pigglesworth’s Adventures in Pigonia by JoAnn Wagner and Jim DeBellis, with illustrations by David Darchicourt, is a delightful tale of courage, innovation and goodness for young readers to cherish as it inculcates traits of goodness and fair play while they read on. The authors have set this story just a few years ago, about the time when the little ones who are told this tale were born. The historical background of Pigonia dates back to the year 1802 when the King sent Royal Grand Duke Spencer J. Hoggbottom of Pigglesworth to Pigonia, an island far away, exactly halfway between London and New York. Many happy hardworking pigs lived in the beautiful island, playing and raising crops for the next 200 years after they had arrived there. The Duke had left for work in America. The peaceful pigs of Pigonia sent a message to Duchess Penelope of Pigglesworth, who now ruled Pigonia, informing her that pirate ships led by Captain Phineas Nastybeard - a pirate who had also captured the nearby island of Bacon shortly before - has landed on Pigonia and several little pigs had disappeared. They pleaded for her help to save Pigonia.
A rollicking adventure follows, with delightful characters such as Duchess Penelope, Queen Alexandra, Admiral Cornelius Snout of the Royal Navy, and Reginald J. Hoggbottom of New York City who emerge as the story progresses. The pirates are typical, complete with the traditional pirate flag, the eye patch, and even a peg leg and swords. The numerous full colour cartoon illustrations by David Darchicourt throughout the book are a treat for young readers. JoAnn Wagner and Jim DeBellis have shown rare insight by keeping the text large and attractive, avoiding any unsavory violence, and even making the battle against the pirates original to generate smiles and excitement. The hero of the tale is a joyful young frolicking pig named Spenser, who plays a pivotal role in winning the battle. This book is highly recommended for its target audience and certainly deserves a five-star rating for an attractive cover, excellence in prose and illustrations, as well as the undercurrent of character building running through it.