Zorro the pug and his pal, Mister Bud, pair up again for their third amusingly understated adventure (Zorro Gets an Outfit, 2012, etc.), this time focusing on Mister Bud’s unpleasant stint wearing an Elizabethan collar while a sore spot heals.
Every dog owner is familiar with the necessary but traumatic cone-shaped collar that prevents a dog from licking an injury or biting at post-surgical stitches. Mister Bud, a large, big-nosed dog of indeterminate breed, has developed a “hot spot,” which he aggravates through licking at it overnight. His owner tries some healing ointment, to no avail, and finally straps on the hated cone when she has to leave for work. Poor Mister Bud spends a miserably uncomfortable day in the cone, unable to see or play or eat properly, and his sidekick Zorro the pug makes things worse by teasing Mister Bud and stealing his favorite stuffed toy. A succinct, masterfully paced text is filled with humorous taunts from Zorro and hilarious descriptions of Mister Bud’s misery. Quirky watercolor illustrations show Zorro’s feisty personality and Mister’s Bud’s difficulties with the cone in vignettes set off by lots of white space, spotlighting the canine antics. In a satisfying conclusion, Mister Bud receives extra attention from the owner and a special treat, which he shares with Zorro despite his pal’s less-than-exemplary behavior during Mister’s Bud cone crisis.
Zorro and Mister Bud are quite a pair; readers will hope for more unpredictable but amusing adventures with them. (Picture book. 4-8)