The Ghost of Tantony Pig. By Julia Jarman. Illustrated by Laszlo Acs. Andersen Pounds 4.99
The Andersen Young Readers' Library paperbacks - substantial, attractive, good-quality volumes scattered with line drawings are ideal for enticing confident readers into longer fiction. This tale, first published in 1990, was one of the forerunners in what turned into a Nineties trend for green-tinted stories but has more depth and resonance than many. Language, character and lavish set pieces are all a delight in the story of the mythical pig and his human helpers who save the village twice - first from the Black Death, then from the property boom. The doomed hog roast at the self-appointed squire's "nouveau riche" palace is not to be missed.