King Theophilus may be able to run a country, but he seems to have no clue how to handle his daughter, Princess Penelope.   Princess Penelope has been spoiled ROTTEN by the king, with a little help from the queen.  If things don’t go her way Penelope usually screams and demands everyone give her what she wants. 

For her eighth birthday, the spoiled princess has decided she wants a pig.  Of course she gets one. 

After looking at all the pigs in the kingdom, Penelope selects Lollipop as her birthday present.  This pig also comes complete with a trainer, named Johnny Skinner, who had taught his pet pig to sit and stand. 

Now, the princess is demanding that Lollipop live in the palace.  The queen’s response was understandable to every mom alive.  “If the pig moves in… I move out!”  

In conversations with his pig, Johnny gets right to the heart of Penelope’s terrible behavior. 

“She is a spoiled child.  But in a way it is not her fault. It is the fault of her mom and dad for letting her have everything she wants.  She was quite nice, wasn’t she when we were eating the cake, don’t you think?”

Lollipop grunted.

“But then the moment she couldn’t get her own way, she flew off the handle didn’t she?”

Lollipop grunted again.

I have been quite successful at training you,” Johnny Skinner said to the pig. ” I wonder if I could train her?”

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And so, two determined children  and a pig begin a relationship full of fun and laughter along with some serious lessons.  Johnny Skinner uses Lollipop to help teach Penelope to speak calmly and think less about herself and more about others.  Johnny is determined to train Penelope and the princess is determined to have a pig living INSIDE the palace. 

This book by Dick King-Smith is fun to read and entertains the young and the old.  Students in grades three would not be too young to read the book alone ( Toward the end of the year, most second graders could read it alone too.)  But, this book begs to be read aloud *, enjoyed together and discussed.  If you have an child between the ages of 4 and 10 this would be just the right book for a bedtime chapter ( or two) a night. 

The delightful pencil drawings scattered thoughtout the book bring more fun to the story.


* A note about reading aloud.  This site has some very interesting information concerning parents reading aloud at home.