I'm very happy to be able to share my review of The Niggle, written and illustrated by the ever lovely Peta Rainford on the day of its release.
Joe Jackson is a little boy who has never felt fear... until the day a miniature monster swims in his ear! The monster is the Niggle, who whispers worries in Joe's head and makes him afraid.
Will Joe Jackson let the Niggle win? Or will he learn to overcome his fears? Read this rhyming picture book to find out. And remember: you can't be brave if you don't feel fear!
I absolutely loved The Niggle, it is so well thought out and so well written. The rhyming really flows as you are reading and it makes everything sound good whether you're reading it out loud or in your head.
Joe is a great character and reflects so well what children are like before their fears (or Niggles) creep in and make them more cautious. I enjoyed watching his fearless journey up until his accident. I then thought it was powerful how he slowly over time learnt how to deal with his Niggle and how to still do everything he wanted to safely.
The artwork is absolutely lovely and really matches the tone of the story. I have watched Peta Rainford share snippets of her drawings on her Facebook page as she planned out The Niggle, so it was really good to see it all put together and in context.
At the end, after Joe deals with his Niggle, there is a page aimed at the reader, which I thought was a really nice touch. It makes the child (or reader) relate the story to themselves and realise that they too can overcome their fears. Also that being afraid isn't a bad thing, you just need to know how to use it.
The Niggle is a very enjoyable read and both me and mini Nerdling will be reading this many more times in the future.
About The Author
Peta Rainford was lovely enough to appear on my feature, Getting To Know... so you can find out even more about her here.
Peta grew up on the Isle of Wight so long ago she can remember buying crisps from the school tuck shop for 21⁄2p. As a child she loved words, and loved drawing too, but she had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up. She studied English at York University and then worked in London as a business journalist and editor for 14 years. She went to art classes and even studied fine art at St Martins, but she still had no idea what she wanted to do when she grew up. She moved back to the Isle of Wight in 2006, and it was here that Peta, now balancing the roles of freelance writer and mum, decided to write and illustrate her first book for children. It was a revelation: a way of combining picture making with her love of words – not to mention an outlet for her awful jokes. It may have taken more than four decades, but finally, Peta knows what she wants to do when she grows up.