The Adventures of a South Pole Pig
By Chris Kurtz, Illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013, Ages 10-13
The Adventures of a South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz is about a adventurous pig named Flora. Flora tells the story from her point of view and while she is not like the other pigs she seeks a voyage out of the pig pen. Flora lives with her mother and siblings and one day gets the adventure she wants when she volunteers herself to be captured by a man wanting a piglet. She sees this as the start of an adventure but it is really a dangerous journey. She envisions herself finally getting to be a sled pig. Flora assumes she will be part of the sled dogs she is traveling with, but as the readers find out she is planned to be made into an entree. Flora meets many other friends, gets in dangerous situations and conquers many tasks along her journey on the ship.
Chris Kurtz writing style in this book was definitely a narrative style. He writes this novel to entertain and tell the story of Flora and her adventures. He writes in 38 fairly short chapters with much dialogue and some description. The characters are well-developed.
The cover is Flora surrounded by her three friends and some of the other characters. There is white space and snow flakes where there is not illustrations or words. The criss-crossed font for the title and names of the author is a adventurous and will grab children's attention. The illustrations within the novel are in black and white and help to understand what is going on. While some take up half a page, others only take up a quarter of the page. The illustrations are placed randomly throughout the novel, but they enhance the children's understand of the book, as they did for me.
I thought this novel was throughly entertaining and I enjoyed it. Although not realistic and I was not informed much on the South Pole or the type of pig that Flora was I enjoyed the story that this novel had to tell. I would recommend this book to any teacher trying to read aloud to their students in the classroom for entertainment purposes. The story demonstrates bravery, friendship and many other great qualities. It makes me think twice about eating pig meat. I do not usually enjoy hearing stories from an animal's point of view, but I thought this was a really good novel.
Reviewed by Olivia Webb