A Piglet called Truffle/A Duckling called Button – Chapter Book Series Recommendation

Title: A Pig Called Truffle

Author: Helen Peters

Illustrator: Ellie Snowdon

 Publisher: Walker Books US, 2020 (Originally published in 2018 in UK by Nosy Crow)

Ages: 6-9

Genre: fiction

Themes: animal rescues, farms, animals, pigs, sniffer-pigs, rescuing

Opening:

Jasmine was lying on her bed with her cats, reading her favorite magazine, Practical Pigs. It was a Friday afternoon in late November, and Jasmine, absorbed in an interesting article about rare breeds, was completely happy.

Synopsis:

Meet Jasmine Green — an aspiring veterinarian who adores animals! Can her kindness and know-how save a piglet in trouble in this delightful series debut?

Jasmine Green loves animals. Her mother is a veterinarian. Her father is a farmer. And her brother and sister are . . . well, they’re mostly annoying. But being in the Green family means seeing and taking care of animals all the time. While helping her mom on a house call, Jasmine visits a new litter of piglets and discovers a forgotten runt hidden underneath its brothers and sisters. Poor little piglet. It is so tiny that it can’t even drink! Its owner refuses to rescue it. So it is up to Jasmine to save the pig . . . secretly. What will happen if anyone finds out? Author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon introduce the irresistible pair of clever, caring Jasmine and lovable Truffle, while capturing the beauty and bustle of a family farm. A kind of James Herriot for a new generation, this first book in the Jasmine Green series is for anyone who loves helping animals.

Title: A Duckling Called Button, (Jasmine Green Rescues #2)

Authors: Helen Peters

Illustrator: Ellie Snowdon

 Publisher: Walker Books US, 2020, (Originally published in 2018 in UK by Nosy Crow)

Ages: 6-9

Genre: fiction

Themes: rescue animals, ducks, farms, farm animals, animal care

Opening:

Good girl, Truffle,” said Jasmine, bending down to scratch her pig behind the ears. “Good girl.”

Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, were walking Truffle around the edge of the biggest field on Oak Tree Farm, checking Jasmine’s dad’s flock of Southdown sheep. It was a lovely warm March morning. The sky was a beautiful pale blue, with high fluffy clouds.

Synopsis:

In the second tale in a heartwarming new chapter-book series, aspiring veterinarian Jasmine Green hatches a plan to save a clutch of duck eggs.

Jasmine Green’s mom is a veterinarian and her dad is a farmer. She has spent her life surrounded by animals. So when she sees animals that need rescuing, she knows just what to do. While walking in the woods, Jasmine and her best friend, Tom, find a nest of orphaned duck eggs. The eggs need lots of care. Hatching them is hard work. Can Jasmine keep the eggs warm and safe? With a little love and luck, the Green family farm will have a fluffy duckling friend for life. Author Helen Peters and illustrator Ellie Snowdon return for a charming springtime visit to Oak Tree Farm. Reminiscent of James Herriot and Dick King-Smith’s classic stories, yet thoroughly modern, this second book in the Jasmine Green series is perfect for animal-loving readers.

Why I like this series:

I would have adored this series in primary school. I was constantly bringing kittens home and had various guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits growing up. Just like Jasmine, I dreamed of becoming a vet or running an animal rescue like the one in our next door village just outside Cambridge. I of course grew up reading all Dick King Smith (remember Babe?) animal books and as a teen, James Herriot. I confess to a particularly warm fuzzy feeling when mentions like Twiglets, mince pies, porridge and Agas (we had this solid fuel stove growing up) made me realize the author was English. I appreciated the fact that the US publisher did not change e.g. porridge to oatmeal as I always think kids are bright enough to get it.

The realistic farm setting, fabulous animals facts because of Jasmine’s obsessions, and exciting escapades with each of the critters will enthrall young readers who love animals. The cute black and white illustrations by Ellie Snowdon support the text in an unobtrusive way and will help emerging readers transition to their first chapter books. The characters are all fleshed out and endearing, and Peters manages a great page-turning pace. There are sad moments, fun moments, excitement and charm in these pages. As someone who lived years in SE France, I also loved the fact the pig was called Truffle and trained to be a sniffer-pig!

I am so glad we have our 4th and 5th grade on our middle school campus now, as because they are mostly not native English speakers, I actually think the English level and stories will be very appealing to them.

This is a terrific new series and I am just sorry that the two ARCS I received from the publisher mentioned that the final books will include maps. I adore maps in books.

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1 Response to A Piglet called Truffle/A Duckling called Button – Chapter Book Series Recommendation

  1. Thank you for introducing us to a new rescue series. I love the Piglet’s name. Like you, I would have loved a series like this because I was always bringing home baby rabbits, birds with broken wings etc. Kids are compassionate and it’s good to feed them stories that will resonate with their desire to help.

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