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PUGDOG by Andrea U’Ren


by Andrea U’Ren & illustrated by Andrea U’Ren

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: April 5th, 2001
ISBN: 0-374-36149-5
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Gender stereotyping gets a good thumping in this first book from U'Ren. Mike and his puppy, Pugdog, are fast friends. They visit the park where Pugdog digs holes, chases squirrels, and rolls in the mud. One day Pugdog is stuck with a splinter. At the vet, Mike says: "He's such a good boy!" The vet has news: "She! Pugdog's a she!" Okay, so maybe Mike ought to get out more. But then he compounds the problem by forcing Pugdog to assume what he thinks of as ladylike traits: a shampoo, a tutu, no romping in the park, and forget the belly scratches. This sends Pugdog into a funk and a dog's life becomes the doghouse for Pugdog. At the first opportunity, Pugdog bolts, haring off back to the park to engage in some serious hole digging and squirrel chasing. When Mike finds her later that day, even he can see the Pugdog's a happier creature than she's been for a while, so he trades in the generalizations for some individualizations. Point taken, even if Mike seems a bit of a nitwit. Taking the cake are U'Ren's terrific depictions of plump Pugdog, drooling, tongue-lolling, rolling in the muck, sporting her frippery, or having her belly scratched. Good dog. (Picture book. 3-6)