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PUGS IN A BUG by Carolyn Crimi


by Carolyn Crimi & illustrated by Stephanie Buscema

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: March 15th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3320-6
Publisher: Dial

Six pugs in a lime-green Volkswagen Beetle take a trip through the countryside and into town, meeting other dogs and vehicles on the way in a confusing, frenetic effort that tries too hard to be clever and bubbly.

In this cumulative verse, the dapper pug owner of the VW Bug picks up five more pugs on a journey that ends in town at a Pooch Parade. Short, rhyming text and busy, double-page spreads in brilliant shades present a variety of canines riding in cars and on motorcycles, bikes, sleds and skateboards. The beginning of the story, with the pugs being picked up one by one in different environments, holds promise, but once all the dogs descend into the streets for the parade, both the text and the illustrations veer off into confusing collisions of rhyme schemes and overcrowded pages. Additional textual asides in a larger typeface and a plethora of exclamation marks give the effect of a dog barking at readers to stir up excitement.

The pugs driving in the VW bug is a humorous concept, but these puppies needed a stronger plot and some traffic direction to make the story accessible to the intended audience. (Picture book. 3-6)