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BOW-WOW BUGS A BUG by Mark Newgarden Kirkus Star


by Mark Newgarden & Megan Montague Cash & illustrated by Mark Newgarden & Megan Montague Cash

Age Range: 4 - 10

Pub Date: June 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-15-205813-5
Publisher: Harcourt

A little black speck of a bug leads a feisty yellow terrier on an increasingly surreal trip around his neighborhood in a brilliantly whimsical wordless romp. When the bug descends on Bow-Wow’s dog dish, a scowl descends on his features and off he sets to teach it a lesson. Comic-strip panels advance the action with perfect pacing, the Photoshopped sameness of Bow-Wow’s suburban neighborhood providing a bland, impossibly regular background to ever more zany situations, which include meeting mirror images of himself and the bug, encountering giant-sized versions of both himself and the bug and armies of bug-pursuing dogs and dog-pursuing bugs. Long shots and close-ups hilariously assist in the progress of the narrative, cinematic convention adapting perfectly to the medium. The aforementioned blandly regular background combines with bold, clean lines and a sunnily uncomplicated palette to keep what might in other hands be a rather terrifying journey into 1950s horror/sci fi from overwhelming young readers. Call it a kinder, gentler Twilight Zone in which the doughty protagonist is allowed to return home to bowl and bed at the end of the day. Thoroughly inspired. (Picture book. 4-10)