In rhyming text, a bug-eyed pug named Pig stubbornly refuses to share with the almost equally bug-eyed Trevor, the “wiener dog” he lives with—and soon gets his comeuppance.
The book begins showing the eponymous dog astride a large, red bowl of dog food, tongue hanging out and all four paws gripping the bowl. It perfectly matches the text: “Pig was a Pug / and I’m sorry to say, / he was greedy and selfish / in most every way.” A bit of humor comes through when the text plays on the adage about pigs by reminding readers that “pugs cannot fly.” However, most of the text is composed of trite, tired rhymes. The ending is a punch line whose funny picture will have little ones giggling. However, the ultimate “lesson” is a rather dark cynicism, more appropriate to children older than the age suggested by the rhymes, the art, and even the publisher. There may be some vicarious thrills for those who have witnessed excessive selfishness. The artwork is humorous, although Pig’s appearance is sometimes more grotesque than funny—particularly when he shouts at Trevor. Both male dogs’ facial expressions and body language add to the humor, and dog lovers will appreciate Pig’s array of colorful toys. Scansion is spotty, which should not happen in verses so dependent on rhythm and rhyme to entertain their young audience.
Children who love dogs will find this amusing the first time through, but the humor palls quickly. (Picture book. 3-5)