"Maxine wondered what a pig was; she knew she was a dog."

Maxine, the little black pig, comes to live at a big farm with all the cows, goats, cats, horses, deer, and dogs and grows accustomed to farm life. Since she spends a lot of time with the dogs, helping to bring the cows to the milking shed, sleeping in the sun with Tank and Shade, and playing with Wiley, Maxine thinks she is a dog as well. When Maxine grows bigger, she cannot sleep with the dogs anymore and has to live in a paddock with Blitzen the deer but still dreams of rounding up the cows with the other dogs.

Dunstan crafts a delightful tale about a cheerful pig and her unusual friendships. Through Maxine’s perception of herself as a dog and her special bond with her canine companions, Dunstan emphasizes that the right company of friends helps us see a better, stronger reflection of ourselves and brings out our best qualities. This is further highlighted when Maxine gets very serious about bringing in the cows for milking and thinks she is like her canine friends since she is good at what she does.

Children will love reading about the various animals on the farm, and they will enjoy learning about the everyday aspects of farm life from the activities of Maxine, her friends, the farmer’s wife, and her children. Additionally, Maxine’s relationship with the farmer’s family will make children aware of the unconditional love that exists between humans and their pets. Bright, adorable illustrations enhance the liveliness of the plot, while the friendly tone and uncomplicated language beautifully bring out the charm of a busy farm. Great for reading aloud, this wonderful story of simple living will surely appeal to readers of all ages, especially animal lovers.

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