The second book, by this multi-prize winning author, about a spoilt Princess called Penelope, her henpecked father King Theophilus, and mother Queen Ethelwynne. In the first book, Penelope sulks her way into getting a highly intelligent pet pig (Lollipop) for her eighth birthday and persuades her parents to allow the pig’s former owner, young Johnny Skinner, to join them in the palace as the pig’s trainer.
In this second book Penelope has mellowed somewhat but she is still a feisty girl who is not sure about being made to have a governess. Her parents agree that Johnny can also be educated. They employ the services of a Royal tutor who turns out to be something of an eccentric – a magical character called Collie Cob the Conjuror. His knowledge of everything, including pig illnesses and remedies, comes in handy when Lollipop is taken ill after eating something poisonous. King-Smith leaves options for further Lollipop books as the central character gives birth to her first litter at the end of the book.
Barton’s simple, soft-edged illustrations complement the gentle humour of the story perfectly. If my daughter’s response is anything to go by, children will await the third Lollipop title eagerly.