Pearly and Pig and the Great Hairy Beast (Sue Whiting, Walker Books)
Pearly Woe is not your average 10-year-old. She can speak 27 languages, talk to and understand most animals and, in this tale, travels to Antarctica. However, this is no holiday. Pearly and her faithful friend Pig (a pig) are representatives of the Adventurologists Guild and need to find Pearly’s missing parents—all the while trying to understand what the despicable film star Emmeline Woods wants with Pig. This story is action-packed from the start; readers will be swept away with the pace and the blend of fantasy and realism. While Pearly’s character and situation are unique, author Sue Whiting has woven into her protagonist’s character an increasingly common condition children are facing these days: anxiety. Throughout the story, Pearly constantly worries and doubts herself, and this is the battle she fights most against. Mind you, her anxiety is justified—there are few reliable adult figures in the story and she is alone in Antarctica trying to stop a megalomaniac with a gun. When Pearly finally locates her parents safe and well, it is a great comfort to both Pearly and the reader when her mum tells her, ‘We all worry, it’s normal.’ Let’s hope there are more adventures to come with Pearly and Pig, as they really are a remarkable pair.
Katie Haydon is a library officer in Geelong and a former assistant editor of Books+Publishing. She speaks to the author of Pearly and Pig here.
Originally published by Books and Publishing (Read More)