Thunder Pug (Kim Norman)

Hello, friends! Our book for today is Thunder Pug, written by Kim Norman and illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi, a sweet follow-up to the duo’s Puddle Pug.

Percy the pug and Petunia the pig are pretty great pals. Sometimes they like to do the same thing, like play in puddles, leave trails in fields, or blow dandelion puffs together. And sometimes they like to do separate things, such as when Petunia goes off to compete at the county fair. When she returns with a spiffy blue ribbon, Percy is so proud! So are all the other animals on the farm; in fact, Petunia suddenly seems to be flooded with fans at all times, and Percy is getting less and less alone time with his friend. Feeling lonely, Percy comes across a comic book for Thunder Man, who helps people and wears something just as spiffy as a ribbon – a cape! Procuring a cape of his own, Percy sets out to help his fellow critter, providing assistance to creatures great and small. Still, while his heroics keep him busy, he misses his friend… but a plucky pink sidekick is ready to join him in his adventures!

Delightful! The story nicely handles a common hurdle to friendship: balancing time together and separate interests, plus learning to share friends with others. The story sets the stage for this nicely by showing how friends can have separate interests, and then expands to include separate friendships as well – it reminds young readers that the strongest friendships are those that allow both parties the freedom to try new things, meet new people, and find new passions, all while supporting and connecting with each other over the things they share. The sunny illustrations and charming characters do a great job of conveying moods – loneliness, excitement, contentment, etc. The length is great, and JJ loved it. A healthy and helpful lesson in being a good friend, and it’s Baby Bookworm approved!

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

Pug & Pig: Trick-Or-Treat (Sue Lowell Gallion)

Hello, friends! Happy October! We’re starting off the Halloween season with a review of the delightfully fun Pug & Pig: Trick-Or-Treat, written by Sue Lowell Gallion and illustrated by Joyce Wan.

In this spooky sequel, Pug and Pig are back and getting ready for the holiday: their house is decorated, their yard has a scarecrow, and they have their own personalized pumpkins. They even have matching costumes: skeleton suits with masks. Pig loves his costume! It hugs her and her round tummy, and she likes that the mask disguises her. Pug, however, is less thrilled. He does like the way the leotard squishes him, and hates that the mask hides who he is. Fed up, Pug shreds his costume into pieces all over the yard and decides he’s done with Halloween. This makes Pig sad: she was looking forward to her first Halloween and doing all the fun activities with her very best friend. Can the two find a compromise so that they can both enjoy the holiday?

This was a great follow-up to the relentlessly charming Pug Meets Pig. The adorably unlikely pals are back in all their Kawaii-inspired glory, looking so cute and cuddly on each page that you want to reach out and snuggle them. The story is great, too: the two find a good compromise wherein Pig has her friend to trick-or-treat with, but Pug feels comfortable in what he’s wearing. The length is perfect, and JJ loves the darling duo. This one is a great way to celebrate the holiday while teaching a lesson in friendship and compromise, and it’s 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.)

Pig The Pug (Aaron Blabey)

Hello, everyone! Today, we read Pig The Pug by Aaron Blabey, a morality tale about a selfish little pug being taught a lesson in sharing.

Pig is a pug, and a very greedy one at that. He does not care to share anything, not his toys nor his food. When a friendly dachshund named Trevor says that they might have more fun sharing, Pig throws a huge tantrum and piles all his toys into a mountain, climbing on top and declaring his ownership of them. But uh-oh; that pile seems a bit wobbly… 

I had some mixed feelings on this one. While I loved the Seussian rhyme scheme and the just rewards for the sweet pup Trevor, there was a sense of dissatisfaction for the way Pig’s story turns out. Namely, he falls out of a window. I’m not joking: a full page spread is dedicated to the sight of Pig’s chubby little body plummeting upside-down from a second story window. What results is him being put in a full-body cast and therefore forced to share his toys with Trevor while Pig, humbled, looks on meekly. While this is the kind of ending that can be very entertaining to slightly older children who can better understand that Pig’s hubris is what led to his comeuppance, younger bookworms may not make the connection as easily. And because Pig doesn’t really learn a lesson, other than “don’t play near open windows,” it’s maybe not the best book about sharing for the babies (even JJ seemed a bit underwhelmed). Still, there were some fun and goofy illustrations, and the length was fine, so maybe give this one a try for older readers, and overall, we’ll call it Baby Bookworm approved (with an asterisk).