Published by Nosy Crow

This is a post with my sister Clare in mind. She breeds Middle White Pigs…in Yorkshire – and once won the Great Yorkshire Show with her boar Boris…Not that I’m inordinately proud of my big sister…but there you are. So you get a picture of her and her pigs with this too!

Back to the review – Jasmine’s father is a cattle farmer. There are no pigs on his farm at all. He doesn’t want pigs; he only has enough time for the cows on his farm and doesn’t need or want the complications of pigs to add to his work load. His wife is a vet – dealing with everything from large animals to pets. The family is busy – the children going back and forth to school; everyone with their own interests….

Jasmine’s interests? Well, Jasmine is into all things porcine. Jasmine, would love a pig – whatever her parents say. She is reading up on all the rare breeds in a magazine she receives regularly, and any books she can get hold of. When her mother takes her out on a call to a calving at a local farm she asks the disagreeable farmer if she can look at his pigs whilst her mother deals with the calving. Without really thinking about it the farmer tells her that there are piglets – 12 of them.

There, in the third enclosure, sure enough, is a sow with 12 bright pink fat little piglets… but what is that movement under the straw?

This is the start of a wonderful series of books about Jasmine, her family and the animals she comes across.  Though a book for five to eight year olds it has not followed many other animal books for younger readers. The book includes details of the hard work involved and the more technical aspects of looking after animals, and this is stirred well into the mix – Jasmine knows about colostrum, about using the warmth from an oven to help small animals to recover. I don’t think this series will shy away from death either, (Jasmine makes the observation that the first 24 hours are the most important) – and it looks to cover the care of animals as well as having a good plot for this most important age group.

I hope there won’t be too many Jasmine books – just the right number and no more – I don’t think, though that Helen Peters will be prolific, and I suspect these will become much loved classics. I hope too that pigs, (perhaps Middle White Pigs) will feature again in one of the later books.

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