Pug & Pig and Friends (Sue Lowell Gallion)

Hello, friends! Our book today is Pug & Pig and Friends, written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan, third in the pair’s series of Pug & Pig books.

Best pals Pug and Pig have resolved their previous differences and settled into a comfortable and happy life as pets in their spacious yard and lovely home. In fact, they’ve even made some new friends: Cat, Squirrel, and Robin. While the five friends enjoy spending time together, some activities appeal to different members of the friend group more than others. Pug, Pig, Robin, and Squirrel all love zooming around the yard, for instance, but Cat’s not a fan. What Cat does love to do is sneak up on Pug and scare him when he’s napping; Cat and Pig finds this trick hilarious, but Pug and the others don’t like it at all. When a sudden thunderstorm sends the friends scattering, Cat ends up in a tree, too scared to descend. How can the friends help her down? Perhaps Pug can come up with a trick of his own…

Cute, but a disappointing ending. The first two Pug & Pig books feature wonderful lessons in friendship, focusing on sharing, kindness, and consideration. This one seemed to lack such a lesson: Pug lures Cat down from the tree by pretending to take a nap, then scares Cat when she sneaks up on him. Everyone has a laugh, but wait – didn’t Squirrel and Robin not like surprises? And what is the message: if a friend does something that upsets you, upset them back, but it’s okay if it’s in the process of helping them? It’s more than a bit muddled, unlike the sweet and clearcut messages of the previous stories. Beyond this issue, Wan’s charming illustrations are still delightful and full of cuddly characters, and the pace is brisk enough for a quick storytime. Gallion’s chipper, earnest text is as fun to read aloud as always, and JJ did enjoy the interplay between the animals. So while this one’s finale was a bit of a letdown, it will still be worth a look to fans of the series or little bookworms hoping for a cute and breezy read. Overall, Baby Bookworm approved!

(Note: A copy of this book was provided to The Baby Bookworm by a representative of the author in exchange for an honest review.)

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