Flora the pig was born for adventure: “If it’s unexplored and needs to get dug up, call me. I’m your pig,” she says. The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating—and dangerous—adventure of her life. This poignant novel of a purposeful pig is sure to become a favorite with any young readers who have ever dreamed of exploring the great beyond.
Even as a piglet, plucky Flora knows that her destiny lies outside the pen. After watching sled dogs training, she dreams of joining a sled team. In this satisfying chapter book, one wildly improbable (but somehow convincing) event leads to another. Taken aboard a ship for some mysterious purpose, Flora befriends Oscar the sled dog and Aleric the cabin boy. She and Sophia the cat team up to kill off their common enemy: rats. Shipwrecked off Antarctica, Flora saves the captain’s life (and her own bacon), but starvation looms and the crew’s survival depends on an unlikely sled team: Flora, Oscar, Aleric, and Sophia. Reinhardt’s spirited drawings, shaded with crosshatching, add considerably to the book’s charm. Described as a teacher and a storyteller, Kurtz shows a good sense of pacing in his first novel. There’s humor as well as heart, grit as well as tenderness, in the telling of this Antarctic adventure tale. Recommended for reading aloud. Grades 3-6. --Carolyn Phelan
"It will greatly satisfy fans of Dick King-Smith and E.B. White looking for something similar . . . Engaging fantasy adventure for preteen pig pals." —Kirkus
"An upbeat and lively story." —Publishers Weekly
"There's humor as well as heart, grit as well as tenderness in the telling of this Antarctic adventure tale." —Booklist
"Loyalty, courage, and optimism are important ideas, and newcomer Kurtz brings us a rollicking story filled with all three." —Horn Book, starred review
"Told in the voice of a seasoned storyteller, this novel has chapters that will work perfectly for sharing aloud with younger children or as a read-alone for more competent readers. . . . Move over Wilbur and Babe, there's a new pig in town." —School Library Journal, starred review