The popular Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman host now has his own chapter-book series, though his humor doesn’t transition well.
Ruff has gotta go. His new Golden Blobby award broke the toilet in his doghouse (don’t ask), and now he sees water everywhere. NASA really should be working on a solution. His helpful show supervisor, Blossom, points out that NASA is, so Ruff starts astronaut training. More potty humor follows as Ruff and Blossom present a few facts about water and life onboard the International Space Station, where urine is recycled into drinking water. Dog Ruff, cat Blossom and mouse assistant Chet then design a filter of their own to see how water can be cleaned using rocks, sand, uncooked pasta and a coffee filter (directions for this experiment are in the backmatter). But NASA just launched its only space toilet. What’s a dog to do? Well, how about trying to use Chet’s toilet in his mouse hole? Will Ruff ever get unstuck for his next book? Will readers who love his show care? While the bright digital artwork matches that of the TV show, and the illustrator has nailed Blossom’s mute sass, so much of the show’s humor depends on Ruff’s tone of voice and delivery that this just falls flat. And those who love science may not find enough of it here to satisfy.
Ruff Ruffman’s transition to the page is a rough one, though true fans may stick it out. (Fiction. 7-10)