A Pig Called Heather

128p. Holiday House. May 2015. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9780823432905. ebook available.
Gr 3–6—Heather Duroc says her favorite thing to do is nothing. Yet in this contemporary farce, she never gets the chance. Heather is a Duroc pig happily living on a 300-year-old farm in Scotland. She's owned by her "best human," Isla, and the girl's father. The recent death of Isla's mother has made the pig and her human inseparable. That is, until the barn is destroyed in a fire and Isla and her father move away to London. While the new owner is having a commercial filmed at the farm, Heather is "discovered" and becomes the most famous pig in the United Kingdom. On her way to a photo shoot in London, she breaks away and sets out to reunite with Isla. This whimsical adventure is a pleasure. The story is fast-paced and exciting. The writing is imaginative and is lightly sprinkled with Briticisms. The characters are unique and well defined. For example, Heather can readily identify every apple she's ever eaten ("Fall Pippin, excellent for eating."). But what sets this story apart is Oulton's ability to bring Heather's every action to life. Happily, nothing ends up where it begins, and, hopefully, the open-ended conclusion will lead to more rollicking adventures. Heather is a VIP (very impressive pig).
VERDICT For readers seeking a rousing adventure or animal tale, this is a winner.

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