cover image The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A Novel of Snow and Courage

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig: A Novel of Snow and Courage

Chris Kurtz, illus. by Jennifer Black Reinhardt. Harcourt, $16.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-547-63455-5

Gutsy and curious, Flora the pig feels hemmed in by her pen at the farm and longs to see the world. Opportunity arises when a man comes to take one of the piglets away; Flora allows herself to be captured, imagining she’s at the start of a wonderful adventure. Flora’s innocence in this and other matters is a key part of Kurtz’s (The Pup Who Cried Wolf) story. The pig is loaded onto a ship headed to the South Pole, where a team plans to cross Antarctica via a dogsled team; Flora assumes she will be part of the pack pulling the sled, not—as readers will have figured out—an entrée. The knowledge of Flora’s precarious fate hangs over what’s otherwise an upbeat and lively story, as Flora works hard to prove her worth to the crew and forge friendships with Sophia, a fiercely independent cat, and Oscar, the lead sled dog. Like Wilbur before her, Flora’s spirit and determination might have the effect, intended or otherwise, of causing a new generation of readers to reconsider their consumption of meat. Ages 9–12. (Jan.)