Pepperpot enjoys her relaxed life filled with naps in the sun. And she is a cat that likes things just the way they are. That is, until new neighbours move in next door. What’s that strange smell and all of these odd things? And where are her old neighbours? When Pepperpot’s curiousity gets the best of her, she goes exploring. She doesn’t think she could ever be friends with her new neighbours, but Pepperpot soon learns to accept the newcomers when an unexpected danger creates an unexpected friendship.
Philippa Cleall has created a thoughtful story that touches on the topics of diversity, acceptance and friendship in Pepperpot & Salty, the second book in the Pepperpot series. In simple, rhyming text and colourful illustrations well-suited for lower primary students, the story of Pepperpot and her new neighbour Salty, introduces young children to the concept of diversity by showing that each of us is unique in our own way. In addition, the story offers an opportunity to discuss friendships — how they are made, what makes a good friend and how children can benefit from friendship with those who come from different backgrounds.
Cleall, a former primary school teacher and librarian, makes helpful Teaching Notes available on her website with creative ideas for exploring the topics in the book. Overall, Pepperpot & Salty takes a creative and insightful look at various concepts facing students today.
Reviewed by Stephanie Ward