Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Princess Pistachio and the Pest

Princess Pistachio and the Pest

Marie-Louise Gay
Fiction  Series
For ages 5 to 7
Pajama Press, 2015   ISBN: 978-1927485736

One morning Pistachio wakes up from a horrible dream. As the cloud of the nightmare disappears, Pistachio remembers something wonderful, something fabulous. Today is the first day of the summer vacation. The horrors of school life are behind her, and “adventures and freedom” lie ahead. In a high state of happiness and excitement Pistachio goes to the kitchen where her mother and her little sister are sitting at the table having their breakfast.

Pistachio’s mother has a “smile that would melt a snowman in winter” on her face. This is a smile that every child knows, a smile that indicates that a grownup is about to ask for something that is disagreeable. Sure enough, Pistachio’s mother asks, on this first day of the summer vacation, that Pistachio takes Penny, her little sister, to the park.

Pistachio flatly refuses to be Penny’s babysitter. She has plans to do things with her friends and she is not going to waste a precious day taking care of a toddler. Of course, Pistachio is overruled and a short while later she is pulling the wagon piled high with little girl stuff, and Penny, to the park. Pistachio is daydreaming when she is accosted by Mr. Pomodoro the greengrocer. Somehow a bunch of bananas and a watermelon have found their way into the wagon, and Mr. Pomodoro thinks that Pistachio is the one who put them there. He thinks she is thief, but the real thief is Penny!

When they get to the park, Pistachio talks to one of her friends for a moment or two and then discovers that Penny has left the relative safety of the wagon and is now standing on a wall. Penny then falls down on the other side of the wall, into the territory of creepy Mrs. Oldtooth. To Pistachio’s horror, Mrs. Oldtooth turns up and starts talking about toad soup and rummages around in her bag looking for her “magic wand.” Fearing for her life, Pistachio gathers up her sister and makes a run for it. Who knew that babysitting could be so fraught with danger!

In this delightful book Pistachio is back in another funny story and this time she faces a challenge that really tests her. She imagines that babysitting is going to be horribly boring, but it turns out that Penny likes to have adventures, which means that Pistachio, whether she wants to or not, is going to have adventures too, though they are not the kinds of adventures she particularly wants.