Like his ancestor, Babe, the Gallant Pig (1985), who distinguished himself as a champion herder of sheep, Ace is a persistent achiever. His talent is understanding human speech; his communications to Farmer Tubbs may be limited to grunts for "no" and "yes," plus an importunate squeal to indicate hunger, but Tubbs soon realizes that Ace's comprehension is extensive. The ensuing humorous events include Ace's insinuation of his portly person into Tubbs' house, where he makes friends with Tubbs' aloof cat and haughty Corgi; and a trip to a pub, where Ace inadvertently overindulges. The book's sly focus is on Ace's education by TV: once he finds out how to work it, it becomes a fund of information; but when a reporter gets wind of Ace's accomplishments and he actually gets to appear, Ace and Tubbs are smart enough to conceal the extent of Ace's accomplishments; the resulting TV story is only remotely related to the full truth. At his best, King-Smith creates animal characters that are a unique, comic blend of human foibles and realistic animal behavior. This fantasy has that appeal; and though the humor here is less pungent than in Martin's Mice (1989), King-Smith's fans are sure to enjoy Ace's adventures.