The Nanny Piggins guide to conquering Christmas by R. A. Spratt

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Random House Australia Children's, 2013. ISBN: 9780857980922.
(Age: 8-12) Themes: Christmas, Christmas Cooking, The Nativity, Santa Claus, Humour. The one and only Nanny Piggins is back to conquer all things Christmas from instructions for cooking festive treats rewriting Headmaster Pimplestock's school play. She is determined to add her own chocolate-infused style and slightly irreverent views to the celebrations. With handy hints, fun games and recipes this book is another great addition to the series.
One of the highlights is the Nativity story as told by Yudith Piggins whose eye-witness account has been handed down through the Piggins generations. Interspersed with comments from the children Derrick and Samantha this story truly adds a new perspective.
'And this angel didn't mention anything about appropriate visiting hours, or waiting a few hours while the mother got over a difficult labour?'
Another humorous event is the Boxing Day skirmish between the boring Green family and the crazy unconventional Piggins tribe who celebrate with food, fights and fisticuffs.
Nanny's fashion advice includes wearing underwear with strong elastic in case you have to tuck your dress up and race to the dessert table and covering the chimney with chicken wire to stop that home intruder Santa from entering the house.
R. A. Spratt's Nanny Piggins is a great character with a wicked sense of humour and a very different take on life. This is kid-friendly companion to Christmas festivities is a great read for 8-12 year olds. Parents and teachers too may find this novel a great one to share in the lead up to the season.
Rhyllis Bignell