"PUG, SLUG, AND DOUG THE THUG" by Carol Saller


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The eponymous characters here are villains; the heroes are ""A lone boy. A slowlopin', quick-thinkin', bare-footin', straw-chewin' boy"" and his sidekicks: a ""mean"" dog (""flea-nippin', tail-tuckin',"" etc.) and a ""cool"" cat (""alley-rovin', ear-missin'...""). When the ""bad guys"" mosey into the Dry Gulp Saloon (where a sign offers a reward for their capture), a slapstick battle follows, its intricate action as neatly choreographed as the comically concise verse that describes it. The boy's straw is key: spit at a chandelier, it ignites, flies into a poker game, and starts a fire. In the ensuing melee, the mop bucket goes ""bowlin' over Slug,/And just like the boy was hopin', all that sloppy, slimy soapin'/Made it mighty easy -- /ropin' Doug the Thug."" Redenbaugh's caricatures have an energy and angularity that suit the story well, though her soft color pencils weren't the best choice of medium; the illustrations don't have quite the brisk authority that propels the verse. Still, a satisfying tall tale, and great fun to read aloud.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 1994
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Carolrhoda