Children's Books of the Week: The Lollipop Books

Lady Lollipop and Clever Lollipop by Dick King-Smith

When I put out my huge request for chapter book titles, Anne mentioned The Water Horse. We read that (loved it), which led us to read Babe:The Gallant Pig (loved!) which led us to reading these two books about a pig named Lollipop that we have, so far, loved most of all (though I am fully expecting to read another as-yet-unknown-to-me Dick King-Smith book next week that I love even more).

These are the stories of Princess Penelope, who wants (and gets) a pig for her eighth birthday. The pig she chooses belongs to an orphan boy named Johnny Skinner, who becomes her friend. These are chapter books, but are quick reads, liberally illustrated, and funny, with good, quick-moving plots. Dick King-Smith clearly has a thing for pigs, but that’s alright, because after reading all these books I think we all have a thing for pigs too. Or at least for Lollipop, who is a genius.

The boys like to act out all the parts of this book, or to at least spend the day pretending to be the characters. I can’t believe I’d never heard of these books before last week. Why aren’t they revered as time-honored classics? Seriously, all of you, go get these from the library and read them immediately. Henry, age 5, loves them, and Eli, almost-3, is rapt with attention. Dave and I love them. I’ll even go so far as to say that 6-month-old Zuzu loves them, because she gets to be Princess Penelope and it means her brothers are fawning over her, and she loves that.

Comments (6)

  1. Clog January 5, 2009 at 9:39 am

    So that is why Eli said he wanted a pig for his birthday!

  2. Julie January 5, 2009 at 10:47 am

    Yes, probably! He usually pretends to be Johnny Skinner and makes Henry be Lollipop.

  3. sutswana November 10, 2009 at 9:09 am

    We just read these last month and I wholeheartedly concur. And can’t you just see a teen lit version coming, wherein Johnny and Penelope suddenly realize they’ve had a crush on each other all these years? There were some leanings in the Lollipop books and I was just praying it wouldn’t turn into that by the end. Love the failed governess as well.

  4. Julie November 10, 2009 at 11:47 am

    Oh, I’m SO glad you read these! Don’t you just love them? And I honestly never even thought of the love angle between Johnny and Penelope. Maybe it turns out he’s a vampire, and, and…oh, never mind.

  5. sutswana November 10, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    And we can say this stuff here because this post is buried under so many others, so no one will know that I too suffered (enjoyed) the Twilight obsession!

    Anyway, there were a few times in the second Lollipop where King-Smith kept writing about “soon Johnny was thinking of Penelope and the pig, and nothing else,” and vice versa, and on and on. Maybe I had the radar on unnecessarily. Who knows.

  6. Julie November 11, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    Oh, yeah, I forgot about that stuff with them thinking of nothing but the other. But I think I attributed it to the fact that neither had had a friend before. But yeah, it could certainly turn into lovelust obsession for them in six years. After Johnny becomes a vampire.

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