“Yap yap yap” has never been so expressive or so insistent.
Pug wants to go out, but it's snowing and no one wants to walk the dog. Using just 11 one-syllable words, Long tells a complete story that is familiar to any dog owner. The sentences follow a predictable, subject-verb-object pattern. The longest sentence is just four words long (“Pug wants to go”). The few words are repeated often, making this a confidence builder for the youngest beginning readers. Pug exudes energy, beginning on the frontmatter display of nine digitally manipulated images of this dog, which has the characteristic tightly curled tail and broad, flat, wrinkled muzzle of the breed. Young children will quickly chime in on Pug’s “yap yap yap” refrain, which dominates the pages. Charming and clutter-free illustrations match the brief text and add information for picture readers to glean. The humans—Dad, Mom, and Tad—are equally easy to read. On the final page the pugnacious pet's persistence wins out. When Pug finally catches up to Peg, both dogs and owners look shyly pleased to be walking together. Tad is white, while Peg's owner is curly-haired and brown-skinned. Perhaps a friendship is blooming.
New readers will be happy to yap along with this pup. How about a sequel? (Picture book/early reader. 3-7)