Pippa’s Island: Puppy Pandemonium
Random House, 2018
240pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99
Life could hardly be more different for Pippa. From a seemingly happy family living in a Victorian terrace house in London to a caravan in her grandparents’ backyard on a tropical island off the Australian coast. Forced to make changes when her husband decided to work in Switzerland without them, Pippa’s mother has uprooted the family to a totally new environment where she is now running the increasingly popular Beach Shack Cafe created from an old, abandoned boat shed – a huge contrast to being a stockbroker in London!.
But the end of caravan life is in sight as Pippa’s mum finally has enough money to get the apartment finished – the children have even given up their pocket money to add a few more dollars to the pot. So when Pippa is overcome by a wave of unexpected jealousy because she is still wearing her daggy English school swimmers and doesn’t have a bike to go to other parts of the island with her friends, she decides to turn the negative feelings into a positive, particularly when she sees a beautiful pair of swimmers on sale. And so Pippa’s Perfect Pooch Pampering is born. Offering dog-walking, pampering and pooper-scoopering, what could possibly go wrong?
As this review is published, Miss Now 12 will be on her way to the Australian Scout Jamboree, on a bus for 15 hours with electronic devices banned. But no doubt she will have her nose buried in this latest episode in her favourite series which she loves because the story “sounds just like me and my friends and the things we do.”
For those who are new to the series, they don’t have to have read the others first (although it would be time well spent) because Murrell introduces Pippa, her family and friends and circumstances in an easy-to-read introduction meaning each episode is a stand-alone. With its theme of just appreciating the pleasures found in friendships and simple things, and reflecting the lives of regular kids, even those who don’t live on a tropical island, this is a glorious series for girls who are independent readers but who are not quite ready or interested in the contemporary realistic fiction that features in many stories for young adults.
Even though she is a year older than when I first introduced her to Pippa and her friends, I know Miss 12 will be delighted to have them accompany her on that long bus trip!