From the Asian American experience in the Midwest, to the reality of having a sibling who’s disabled, Kadohata smoothly incorporates a diversity of experiences that are wonderfully normal to young Becca.
Yet it’s immediately disclosed that Saucy will eventually grow too large to live in their household and must be moved to a pig sanctuary.
As Becca starts taking care of Saucy, it’s impossible for both readers and the rest of the family to avoid falling in love with Saucy.
Kadohata gives so much character to this precocious pig and the illustrations of Saucy’s wit and occasional destruction fit lovingly.
The novel wraps up relatively neatly in a happy ending, and none of the financial worries that Becca has in the course of raising Saucy lead to any significant consequence.