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The Pug Who Wanted to Be a Bunny

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About The Book

Peggy competes with her new sibling in this third story in the illustrated middle grade series about the adorable and silly Peggy the pug!

Peggy the pug’s family have adopted an adorable little bunny, just in time for Easter. Peggy used to be top dog, but now she has to share their attention with this long-eared newcomer. Jealous of the new pet, Peggy decides that she must become a rabbit to compete. Can every-bunny learn to get along and realize that there’s more than enough love to go around?

Excerpt

Chapter One

Chapter One
Sunlight streamed through the kitchen windows as Peggy the pug’s family ate their breakfast. As usual, the little dog sat by Chloe’s chair, her big brown eyes gazing up at the curly-haired girl imploringly. Peggy loved every member of her family, but Chloe was Peggy’s special friend. She was also the most likely to share her breakfast!

Peggy whimpered quietly and wagged her curly tail. Chloe slipped Peggy a piece of bacon under the table, and Peggy gobbled it down. Yum!

“I saw that,” Dad scolded Chloe over the top of his tablet. “You know you’re not supposed to feed Peggy from the table.”

“Why not?” protested Peggy. Crispy bacon was soooo much tastier than dog food! But to her family, Peggy’s words just sounded like barking. Humans couldn’t understand animal language.

“But you and Mum are always saying how important it is to share,” said Chloe, giving her dad a cheeky grin. “Anyway, I can’t help it. Peggy looks so cute.”



Chloe’s little sister, Ruby, looked down at Peggy and cooed. “Who’s the cutest doggie in the whole world? Is it Peggy? Yes, it is!”

Finn, Chloe’s older brother, snapped a close-up of Peggy’s face with his phone. “I’m tagging it #pugmug,” he said, sharing it on his social media.

Peggy sighed happily. She loved weekends, when all three children were at home.

Dad put down his tablet and smiled. “Good news! The forecast says it’s going to be sunny all weekend. I’ve got a lot to do in the garden. The spring greens are starting to come up, but I want to sow some carrots and runner beans.”

“I love springtime,” said Chloe. “It’s my birthday, and then the Easter Bunny comes!”

“Actually,” said Mum, sipping her coffee, “Easter comes first this year.”

“But my birthday was before Easter last year,” said Chloe.

“Easter isn’t on the same day every year, dummy,” said Finn.

“This year your birthday is the week after Easter,” explained Dad.

“That reminds me,” said Mum. “I want to make some hot cross buns for the café, but I was thinking of trying out some exciting flavors.” Mum had recently opened a dog-friendly café called Pups and Cups. “Any ideas?”

“Smoky bacon flavored!” barked Peggy, though of course Mum didn’t understand her. The café was good for dogs, so Peggy thought the snacks should be too!

“Unicorn hot cross buns,” suggested Ruby.

“Interesting…,” said Mum.

“You should make spicy ones,” said Finn, shaking some hot sauce onto his scrambled eggs. Lately, Finn added extra-hot spicy sauce to everything. Chloe had told Peggy that he did it because he thought it made him look tough.

“Gross,” said Chloe, wrinkling her nose. “Nobody wants to eat a bun that will make their eyes water. Make triple-chocolate ones—with white, milk, and dark chocolate. Mmm.…”

“Those are all great ideas,” said Mum. “I’ll test them out today.”

“I’ll help!” Ruby offered eagerly.

“Can I ride my bike to Ellie’s house?” asked Chloe. “She invited me and Hannah over yesterday at school. She said she had something exciting to show us.”

“That’s fine,” said Mum. “What do you suppose it is?”

“Ooh! Maybe she’s got a unicorn!” said Ruby.

“Yeah, I’m sure it’s that,” said Finn, rolling his eyes.

“Hannah and I tried to get her to give us a hint,” said Chloe, “but she just twitched her nose mysteriously.”

“Maybe she was hinting that you smell bad,” laughed Finn.

“You’re the one who stinks!” said Chloe, giving her brother a look. “Your feet smell like a cross between moldy cheese and rotting fish.”

“Okay, okay, that’s enough,” said Dad. “I could use some help in the garden today. Any volunteers?”

Finn shrugged. “I’ll help.”

Chloe laughed. “That’s going to make you even stinkier!”

Later that morning, Chloe and Peggy went outside to the garage, which was crammed full of bicycles, sleds, and storage boxes. There was a workbench, with tools hanging from pegs on the wall and a stack of wooden planks next to it.

As Peggy sniffed around the garage, Chloe moved a kiddie pool to the side and pulled out a rusty green bike covered with faded dinosaur stickers. Brushing cobwebs off the frame, she wheeled it out of the garage. She swung her leg over the seat and frowned. “I must have grown over the winter.”



Chloe tried to pedal the bike forward, but it barely moved. The front tire was as flat as Peggy’s nose!

Chloe got off the bike and sighed. “It’s got a puncture.”

Peggy trotted behind Chloe as she went through the gate into the back garden. Spring flowers, like lemon-yellow daffodils and bright purple crocuses, painted the flower beds with color. At the end of the garden was Dad’s pride and joy—the vegetable patch. Green shoots, carefully labeled with white sticks, sprouted from neat rows of soil.



“Dad,” called Chloe, going over to where Dad and Finn were working, “my bike has a flat tire. Can you mend it?”

“Sorry, honey,” said Dad, resting on the handle of his spade. Sweat beaded his forehead. “I can’t right now. I’ll need to pick up an inner tube at the cycle shop.”

“Never mind,” grumbled Chloe. “It’s too small for me now. I hate that ugly old bike anyway.”

“Hey,” said Finn, flicking a worm at his sister. “That used to be my bike.”

“Exactly,” said Chloe.

Chloe and Peggy headed inside. Peggy sniffed—something smelled good! The kitchen counter was covered in baking ingredients. As Mum stirred something in a bowl, Ruby tipped rainbow-colored sprinkles into the mixture.

“We’re making unicorn hot cross buns!” cried Ruby, a smudge of flour on her nose.

“My bike has a flat tire. Can you drive me to Ellie’s house, Mum?” asked Chloe.

“I’ve just put the first batch of buns in the oven,” said Mum. “It’s a lovely day. Why don’t you just walk?”

Good idea! thought Peggy, going over to her lead and wagging her tail.

“Peggy wants to go too,” said Ruby, pointing.

“I’m going to be so late!” sighed Chloe, clipping on Peggy’s lead.



As they walked to Ellie’s house, Peggy breathed in the scents of springtime—damp soil, freshly cut grass, and fragrant pink apple blossom. Barbecue smoke wafted from one of the houses they passed. The sound of music drifted from the back garden, where a party was happening.

“I wonder if Mum and Dad will let me have a birthday party,” Chloe said to Peggy. “Maybe I could have a swimming party, like Hannah had. Or a pizza-making party like Ellie’s.”

Chloe turned up the front path to Ellie’s house, and her friend flung the door open. “I thought you’d never get here!” Ellie crouched down and patted Peggy on the head. “Hi, Pegs.”

“Sorry I’m late,” said Chloe, unclipping Peggy’s lead. “I had to walk because Mum and Dad were busy with my brother and sister. You’re lucky to be an only child.”

Ellie shrugged. “It gets lonely sometimes. I wish I had a sister.”

“Well, you can borrow mine anytime you want,” said Chloe. “So what’s your big news?”

“Come on,” said Ellie, taking her friend’s hand. “I’ll show you.”

They went out to the back garden. At the end of the patio was a wooden rabbit hutch where Daisy, Ellie’s pet rabbit, lived.

Peggy pressed her nose against the wire mesh to peer inside.

“Oh my goodness!” gasped Chloe.

Snuggled up next to Daisy were five tiny baby bunnies!

About The Author

Bella Swift is a children’s book editor who has written many successful children’s book series under a variety of pen names. She lives in London with her husband, her two daughters, and a pet cat—but dreams about getting a dog! 

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (February 1, 2022)
  • Length: 160 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781534486850
  • Grades: 2 - 5
  • Ages: 7 - 10
  • Lexile ® 640L The Lexile reading levels have been certified by the Lexile developer, MetaMetrics®

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