An energetic pug named Gidget learns to surf and goes on to become a champion at canine surfing competitions in this true-life story.
Gidget was an intelligent puppy with boundless energy, so her owner took her to agility classes and then on to training in surfboard riding. The dog’s training regime with her owner, Alecia, is described in detail as well as the specifics of one competition. Gidget’s story is illustrated with photographs of the pug in her bright pink life jacket atop her pink surfboard along with other canine competitors and their owners. Interspersed throughout the story are sidebars and a few full pages with additional information about surfing, wind and waves, competition rules, and Gidget’s list of surfing competition wins. The sidebars are illustrated by Ryan with cartoon-style details, with a cartoon pug character adding levity. Gidget’s owner and most other dog trainers present white; one trainer presents Asian. Two surfer boys with physical disabilities are included in one internal photograph, repeated on the back cover. The book’s design is a bit fragmented, toggling back and forth between story and informational interludes, and Gidget’s appearance in her photographs can be confusing as she doesn’t always look like the same dog due to different lighting conditions and wet fur.
Overall the book’s vibe is energetic and peppy, just like its protagonist. (resources, author’s note) (Informational picture book. 7-10)