Review: Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

Posted July 6, 2016 by Lola in Non-Fiction, Review / 16 Comments


Esther the Wonder PigEsther the Wonder Pig
by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

Rating: 4 stars

In the bestselling tradition of Marley and Me, a funny, heartwarming and inspiring true story about how one little pig changed her owners’ lives forever.

When an old friend contacted Steve Jenkins out of the blue and begged him to take in a ‘micro’ piglet, he couldn’t say no. Though he knew his partner wouldn’t be thrilled about him taking in yet another stray, the idea of having a cute little pig to care for was simply irresistible. Little did he know, that decision would turn his and Derek’s lives upside down.

It turned out that as adorable as she was, there was nothing ‘micro’ about Esther, and as she grew and grew, Steve and Derek realised that they had actually signed on to raise a full-sized commercial pig. Within three years, dainty little Esther grew to a whopping 600 pounds (270 kilograms). After a rollercoaster ride of growing pains and a lot of pig-sized dramas, it became clear that Esther needed more space, so Steve and Derek made another life-changing decision: they bought a farm and opened the Happily Ever Esther Farm Sanctuary, where they could care for Esther and offer refuge to other animals in need.

Inspired by their adventures with their not so little pig, Steve and Derek have become two of the world’s best known and most successful animal rights activists, alongside the magnificent Esther, who has hundreds of thousands of fans around the world. Best of all, Esther the Wonder Pig shows how families really do come in all shapes and sizes.

My Review:
A few months or so ago my boyfriend and I had a conversation, I can’t even remember what it was about or how we came to the topic of pigs, but I remembered seeing a story about two men who adopted a pig and we somehow landed on the facebook page of Esther the Wonder Pig. It quickly became one of my favourite facebook pages to follow and every day I am looking forward to seeing Esther her adorable pictures show up on my timeline. She is so adorable and has so much personality and it’s fun to see the pictures and videos of her and her family.

Eventually I heard about the book and my boyfriend bought a copy for me. This book is about Steve and Derek their journey and how their lives changes from the moment they met Esther. I really enjoyed reading this book. I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books, but I am glad I read this one. Esther the Wonderpig is a heartwarming and uplifting story that shows the power of kindness and how a pig can change lives. It’s inspiring to read about how Esther changed their lives and how many hearts she touched, simply by existing and by having given a chance to live by Steve and Derek.

There are some difficult times they go through, some sad and more happy scenes. Chapters where Esther makes a mess of the house or something without intending too ofcourse and those type of stories always remind me of the pet rats we used to have and how sometimes they could cause trouble without intending to, like peeing on unfortunate places. Which Esther does as well, but Esther is a pig and a lot larger than most pets. It’s interesting to read about how they deal with now having Esther in the house and how they have to adjust things, like placing things out of reach and taping things shut because Esther would be able to open them else.

The book tells how they got Esther, but also their thought processes behind some things, the struggles they went through and how they eventually got the Happily Ever Esther farm. The book is humorously written, even though there are some sad scenes the overall tone is humorous and uplifting. There were some moments where I laughed out loud or had to stop reading and read a part aloud to my boyfriend.

I think it’s awesome how these two decided to take in a pig and fell in love with her and how she in turn changed their lives. It’s quite impressive to see what an impact Esther has had on their lives. There are some mentions of how they became vegan and in the end of the book are some vegan recipes, but the tone is never preachy. It just tells their story and their experience. In the middle of the book are a few pages with pictures from Esther, which were fun to see. And every chapter starts with a small adorable pig under the chapter heading.

I just had wished this book would’ve been even longer, I would’ve liked to read more about their daily lives, more funny stories and stories that gave us a feel for Esther their personality. But this book is quite linear and it tells the story of how they got Esther, some big hurdles they had to overcome, how the facebook page started, the fundraiser, how their lives changed till the moment they arrived at their new farm. I really enjoyed reading this story and I had a lot of fun reading the book. It was just as engaging as fiction books and I just wanted to keep reading. Even knowing how things would end it was still exciting to see it all play out. And I visualized how everything looked in my mind, just as I would do with fiction books.

To summarize: Esther the Wonder Pig is a great heartwarming and uplifting story. It makes you believe in the power of kindness and shows how two people their lives changed because of the addition of a pet pig named Esther. I really enjoyed reading this book! It was humorously written and also had some scenes where I laughed out loud. Also some parts that were a bit sad or showed some trouble they had to go through, but overall it’s a very uplifting book. There are some vegan recipes included at the back of the book and some pictures of Esther and her family in the middle. I just had wished it was even longer and showed even more of Esther and their daily lives. But that’s just because I enjoyed reading this book so much! I would recommend this book to animal lovers or anyone who enjoys a good heartwarming story that makes you believe in the power of kindness!


The Bookdepository

Do you read non-fiction books? And if yes which kind of non-fiction books do you read?


16 responses to “Review: Esther the Wonder Pig by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

    • I’ve never read much non-fiction, but read two good ones this year, so I might try them more regularly if they catch my attention.

    • I never have read Charlotte’s Web I think, so not sure how well it compares. It was a cute read and I might read more non-fiction in the future if it catches my attention.
      Lola recently posted…Sunday Post #186My Profile

  1. I had no idea this was a nonfiction true story! Pigs can be rather adorable sometimes lol. I used to have a picture of some little piglet as my phone background, and it made me happy every time I looked at my phone.

    This does sound like a cute, uplifting type of book. And I can only imagine what type of trouble a pig would get into lol, so it must’ve been funny. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much! And I love the story of how you randomly ended up on the FB page and then reading this book 😛
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    • I totally agree, pigs can be so adorable! I love seeing Esther her facebook posts very day, she’s adorable. It makes me happy. And it’s just amazing to see how much her dads care about their animals. So uplifting to see.

      It was a fun and cute read and there are some really funny stories about Esther getting in trouble like one were she managed to open the olive oil and managed to get it everywhere in the house.

  2. I don’t read much non-fic and it usually is historical or archeological, but once in a while I’ll snag a true life story. I would definitely read this one. My aunt has raised a few pigs and keeps a pet sanctuary, too (her peacocks were my favorites). I’ll have to see if she’s read this one.

    • It was such a great story to read about how they saved Esther and how she changed their lives. And I never realized pig were such smart animals. That’s awesome your aunt has a pet sanctuary, now I am curious as well if she has read this one.

      I don’t read a lot of non-fiction, but I really enjoyed this one, so i am thinking I might give them a try more often if they catch my attention.

  3. Sounds like a fun story. Pigs are pretty amazing animals. They actually do make pretty good pets if you understand that miniature pigs are still over a 100 pounds when full grown. I think that is the biggest problem, people think they can get a 40 pound pig and they don’t exist. Pigs are really smart and learn very quickly. I have a friend who has one and the pig is in the house with her all the time cuddling. My friend has even gotten to where she spends more time on reclining on the floor than on the sofa to spend time with Piggie (Piggie can’t get on the sofa).
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    • Yes exactly, that’s what they mentioned in the book too. Miniature pigs don’t really exist and they still grow a lot. I think Esther ended up being 600 pounds in the end, while they thought she was a mini pig. I really was impressed at how smart pigs are, it was really fun to read about it.
      I follow Esther her facebook page and she has a matrass in the living room where she lies on and sometimes her dads lie on there with her as well. They do seem like great animals to cuddle with as well.

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