Written and Illustrated by Ethan Long
Holiday House, 2016
Pug sees Peg.
The plot in a nutshell: A dog desperately wants to go out.
On a snowy day, Pug sees a girl walking a dog outside. He runs to Mom, but she’s in her pajamas, reading. He runs to Dad, but Dad has just come in from shoveling snow and is freezing. He runs to Tad, who is still in bed and lets him know he needs to go outside. Tad dresses and takes Pug out for a walk. Instead of going potty, Pug looks around for the girl he saw and starts barking. When he hears answering barks, he follows them and finds Peg, who is walking a girl pug. They all continue their walk together.
Of course, anyone who knows me at all is unsurprised to see a pug book here. I’m happy to report that this is a good one. Author/illustrator Ethan Long proves that you can pack a lot into an ‘easy reader’ level book and that we’ve sure come a long way from Dick and Jane. There are only 11 different words in this book and none of them are more than one syllable. But the characters here, especially the lovable pug, convey a range of emotions and are fun and interesting.
There are a couple of funny moments here, including one when Pug starts to lift his leg on Tad’s bed when no one will take him out. And the final picture shows Tad and Peg walking their dogs and smiling at each other in a way that echoes the looks that Pug and the girl dog are giving each other. I think beginning readers will be able to gain a lot of confidence reading this book’s small words, while also enjoying it a great deal. And younger kids will probably love chiming in on Pug’s repeated yapping. Plus there’s a pug, so how can you go wrong?
And what did we learn? What I take away from this book is that everything, especially a walk on a snowy day, is better with a friend.