Elementary: Great For All

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig

Chris Kurtz
2013

Adventure

Courage

Friendship

Resilience

Teamwork

Animals

Environment & Conservation

STE(A)M

Chris Kurtz has created Flora, the pig with passion! She has “a heart born for adventure and hooves stuck in a pen.” When Luna the farm cat warns her not to go looking for trouble, Flora responds, “But I don’t want to stay out of trouble! I want something to happen around here!”

One day, she escapes the pen to wander the farm and ends up running with the sled dogs that train on the farm. She knows right then that she wants a life like those dogs, full of running and pulling and purpose.

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig is not your typical barnyard tale of hijinks and mud puddles. Instead, Flora, the jacketed pig on the cover, shows grit and fortitude as she sets off from the farm for a journey on the high seas that lands her in the harsh environment of Antarctica.

To be prepared for any trouble that comes her way, Flora invents games that sharpen her skills: Cats and Rats to sharpen her pouncing skills; and Feelin’ Kicky to develop a strong backwards kick. She ends up needing those skills when she lands in the rat-filled hold of a ship bound for Antarctica.

As useful as those physical skills turn out to be, it is Flora’s strong character that wins the day. She is loyal, selfless, and endlessly optimistic. Those traits make her the perfect pig to save her friends and shipmates once they are shipwrecked in the desolate snow-covered landscape, with no sled and very little food. Together with Aleric the cabin boy, Sophia the rat-killing cat, and Oscar the proud sled dog, the team sets out to find food to keep everyone alive until they can be rescued.

As she tells Sophia when things are looking particularly bleak:

Cats are good at keeping clean. Dogs are good at running forever without getting tired. And I think that pigs are good at being optimistic and not giving up even when things are really bad. So today we’re going to do things the pig way, okay?

And “the pig way” turns out to be the key to their survival.

This quirky book will take your students and families on a wild adventure while it highlights true teamwork and the value of perseverance and optimism. As she travels from farm to frozen tundra, Flora teaches us all that we can all become who we are meant to be if we keep faith, determination, a positive mindset, and bravely work towards our goals.

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