When her “[b]est two-legged friend” moves away to London from a farm in Scotland, Heather follows—earning national celebrity on the way.
Heather can’t talk, except to other animals, but she’s a clever pig who can scrunch her nose fetchingly, read a bit, thanks to tutelage from Rhona the goat, and recognize almost any apple variety from a single bite. Having known and loved young Isla since the child was in the diapers-and–mud-eating stage, she is sad when Isla and her widowed father have to sell the farm and move to the city in the wake of a devastating fire. But Heather is caught on camera feeding the new owner’s neglected chickens (“It’s Animal Farm without the politics”), and in no time she’s the star of an advertising campaign that whisks her to London and a happy reunion. Troubles aren’t over yet, though, because keeping a large pig in a small city flat is not in the cards. Can Isla find a proper domicile for the doughty Duroc before the “pest controller” catches up?
Stocked with flashes of wit, unlikely twists and narrow escapes from capture, this amiable ramble slides smoothly into the literary sty occupied by Wilbur, Babe, Mercy Watson and like talented porkers. (Animal fantasy. 8-10)