Pigsticks is a noble pig, from a long line of adventurers and explorers. His ancestor, Colonel Pigslet, set out to reach The Ends of The Earth…but didn’t make it back alive. Pigsticks is determined to take on the Colonel’s quest. But first, he’s going to need an assistant.
Most of the town has turned out to be interviewed for the assistant’s position, but none of them are quite right. Luckily, Harold the Hamster shows up at just the right–or wrong–time to deliver a package. Harold is pretty sure that he doesn’t want to go to The Ends of the Earth, but before he knows it, he’s toting a huge knapsack through the desert, across rickety bridges and up mountains. The Ends of the Earth, as it happens, are a long way away.
One of the contradictions of beginning readers is that they are often able to handle longer and more complicated texts before they’re quite ready to give up the colorful illustrations that make picture books so engaging. Books like this one, which pair a short chapter book with full color illustrations on each page are a perfect intermediate step.
Pigsticks is endearingly oblivious, and Harold, as the reluctant, long-suffering assistant, is quite funny. This appears to be the first in a new series, and it’s a good addition to the early chapter book genre. Kids will be drawn in by the illustrations and the funny storyline. Pigsticks and Harold could be a new favorite.
Review by Kate Sweeney
Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway; Candlewick Press; c2014