An endearing piglet shows us that living high on the hog isn't all it's cracked up to be in Elizabeth Spurr's newest book for children, A Pig Named Perrier. Perrier, a purebred potbellied pig, has everything money can buy. He is pampered from dusk to dawn by his doting owner, a movie star named Marbella, and waited on hand and hoof by his British nurse-nanny. Little Perrier loves the Hollywood lifestyle. He jetsets to exotic locations, attends fabulous soirees and wears only the finest bejeweled harness. Even though he's swimming in glitz and glamour, Perrier is not happy. There is a hankering in his hide that he just can't get over. He's not quite sure what it is that is, until he finds a family of farmyard pigs wallowing in the muck on Marbella's country estate. Never having played in the mud before, Perrier at first cringes at the sight. But then his animal instincts take over, and he jumps in. As squeaky clean Perrier tumbles in the mud, he realizes he is finally in hog heaven. But this is not the end of the story. While Perrier's escapade is soul inspiring, it also has consequences. His pristine owner is appalled by his mud-covered hide, and she makes him promise to never get dirty again. As the days pass, Perrier misses the muck and sinks into a deep depression. Loving Marbella cannot understand why Perrier is sad, and she tries everything she can to make him happy, to no avail. Until one night, when Perrier sees her with her nightly face treatment on a mud mask! Perrier's spirits instantly rise, and he prods Marbella to put some mud on him, making his hide tingle in joy. Matje's depiction of the lovable piglet will delight young readers. Perrier's antics remind us that a life of champagne wishes and caviar dreams isn't so grand if you're not happy. And Spurr also shows us that two seemingly opposite individuals can happily coexist, as long as there are compromises. Here, Perrier realizes that not all mud has to be dirty, and Marbella finally understands that, although you can take the pig out of the country, you can't take the country out of the pig.

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