Ruff Ruffman’s second literary outing is much lighter than the first (Doggie Duties, 2014), especially in the science department.
Whereas his first foray onto the page included many science facts and a cool experiment involving filtering water, this episode is a dud. The story is far-fetched, featuring an invitation to the Poodle Ball, a missing pair of fancy pants, a fax that cancels the show, a green vehicle, a trip to Australia and a dog-hating network owner; the science experiment in the backmatter only tangentially relates to a tiny part of the story: Using aluminum foil, readers construct boats of different shapes and test their carrying capacities and floating abilities with pennies in a bowl of water; in Ruff’s tale, he, Blossom and Chet forget to add the submarine feature to their green vehicle, so they save it from sinking by tying pineapples all around it. Those who love the show love it for Ruff’s tone of voice, Blossom’s sassy attitude and quiet intelligence, the many sound effects, and the cool things that the human guests get to do in exploring science and solving problems. Almost all of that is missing in print editions of the TV show.
Rarely will a book review recommend watching TV over reading a book, but in this case, find the remote. (Fiction. 6-9)