Odd-couple friends Chick and Pug return in a nonsensical tale so slender that it barely registers.
Pug is totally laid-back, spending his days resting in the grass and allowing Chick free rein to indulge his vivid imagination. Chick dubs Pug a superhero, a wonder dog, but all their exciting adventures are enacted by Chick alone. A favorite toy goes missing, and Chick puts all his energy into investigation and recovery. Dude the sheepdog is the culprit, and the mad chase ensues. The text only imparts the bare bones of the tale; many additional details are visual. Chick in detective mode employs a magnifying glass and a gumshoe costume, images quite possibly beyond the experience of the intended audience. There’s lots of silliness involving laundry and a sprinkler, but it is the distraction of a “nummy bone” that brings about the anticlimactic and gushing denouement. Large-scale acrylic-and–colored-pencil illustrations depict a very green and vast yard. Pug and the Dude have charm and appeal, and their physical characteristics and personalities nicely represent their breeds. Chick, however, is of an indeterminate species, neither songbird nor farmyard fowl. His antics seem demented rather than cute, and his huge eyes, triangular beak and skinny neck appear a bit creepy. There is some fun here, but lack of cohesion and substance outweighs any humor.
Skip this one in favor of Sattler’s Uh-Oh, Dodo! (2013) and Pig Kahuna (2011). (Picture book. 3-6)