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Pea and Pod Piglet are two skivvies, working flat out in the bowels of Castle Grimewold’s kitchen. Upstairs, Baron de Mugwort greedily awaits the arrival of his birthday cake. Sly Ratty Ragworm plots and schemes, getting Pea and Pod into trouble and causing The Cake to be burnt to a cinder. Expletives bounce across the pages as we watch the piglets’ fresh attempts to produce this cake, by magic. But the Zany Zit Spell produces horrible, green, exploding boils which erupt all over Mrs Slobbersnout’s (the cook’s) head. It certainly seems that rotting ‘in the deepest, darkest, smelliest dungeon, for ever!’ will be P and P’s fate. Although Airy, Scary Spell does work a treat as a raising agent for The Cake, when the Baron has guzzled it entirely himself, he rises to the ceiling! ‘B-O–I-N-G! “OW!” B-O–I-N-G! “OW!”’
The busy illustrations express very clearly the feelings of the pigs both above and below stairs. Many words and phrases are in bold, in larger font, so each page appears charged with action. Young readers who enjoy this kind of ‘magic’ story will love the Hawkins’ latest crazy book. GB