A Spot of Bother

illustrated by Vanessa Cabban

Pig is very proud of his pristine appearance, so he’s horrified to discover a spot of squashed cherry on his side. When his farmyard friends try to help, the spot of bother soon becomes a truly CALAMITOUS CATASTROPHE!

“There is fun aplenty in the pages of this charismatic
picture book which is guaranteed to have youngsters
positively snorting with laughter.”

“Traditional in feel, this is a funny, very satisfying story.”

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Pig's Knickers cover
In the same series
UK Hardcover
ISBN-10: 140634799X • ISBN-13: 978-1406347999
UK Paperback
ISBN-10: 1406365491 • ISBN-13: 978-1406365498

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Author's Note

A Spot of Bother is illustrated by my longtime collaborator Vanessa Cabban. This is the seventh book that Vanessa and I did together and I’m extremely that it will be our last as Vanessa passed away shortly before it was published. She was a good friend and a terrific illustrator to work with and I will miss her greatly.

The story is a sequel to The Pig’s Knickers and features the same cast of characters. In this story Pig is horrified to discover that his spotless appearance has been spoiled by a cherry stain. His friends try to help, but the more they try to clean the spot, the bigger it gets.

I knew as I was writing The Pig’s Knickers that I would want to revisit the characters, but my original intention was that each of the subsequent stories would be centred on a different character. So the first follow-up story I wrote was about Sheep rather than Pig. However my publishers at Walker books didn’t feel that the Sheep story was quite right, so I wrote another story, this time with Goat as the central character. Once again Walker felt that the story fell short of the mark. So for the third attempt I returned to Pig and fortunately it was third time lucky!

Pig’s behaviour is as over-the-top as ever in this second story. When a squashed cherry leaves a bright red stain on his backside, he declares it to be a “monstrous misfortune”. But things go from really-not-that-bad to genuinely awful as Goat, Cow and Sheep try to help Pig rid himself of the ever spreading spot.

Vanessa did another terrific job on the book’s illustrations, deftly capturing Pig’s emotions as he goes from satisfaction to despair and back again.


Pig’s exploits, aided and abetted by Cow, Goat and Sheep, are a joy. Watch him prance, dance and try to crawl himself out of a dirty dilemma while teaching us lessons about sharing problems with friends, being happy in our skin and discovering comedy in the most unexpected places. There is fun aplenty in the pages of this charismatic picture book which is guaranteed to have youngsters positively snorting with laughter, and delivers an extra big smile in the ‘tail-end’ of the book!

Traditional in feel, this is a funny, very satisfying story and there are some lovely words and phrases in Pig’s vocabulary including calamitous catastrophe; speckless; and perfectly pristine!

The action is beautifully portrayed in Vanessa Cabban’s wonderful watercolour illustrations. The expressions on the faces of the animals as they both contribute to and observe Pig’s plight, so perfectly capture their changing feelings, and Pig himself is priceless.
The tone of the telling is spot on too: a fantastic author/artist collaboration.

The illustrations are magnificent, the endpapers have given me a major hankering for cherries. And pig’s fanciness has been beautifully captured … There are so many delicious words in this book.