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BUDDY AND EARL GO EXPLORING by Maureen Fergus Kirkus Star


From the Buddy and Earl series

by Maureen Fergus ; illustrated by Carey Sookocheff

Pub Date: March 1st, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-55498-714-6
Publisher: Groundwood

There are few things as pleasurable as a little nighttime adventure in which you get to trash the kitchen.

Chums Buddy the dog and Earl the hedgehog have had an eventful day and are ready for some slumber. At least Buddy is. Earl looks down from his cage at Buddy on the floor and whispers, “Wish me bon voyage.” Once Buddy is told what bon voyage means, he wants to know more, even if it does give him the collywobbles. Well, it means Earl is going to run, run, run. Pooped, Earl looks around: “This place looks eerily similar to the place I just left.” (The promise and treachery of the exercise wheel.) But there are other places to explore. It is squeeze-your-heart charming when Earl turns Buddy’s water bowl into a moonlit lake, and Buddy—the clumsy literalist—knocks over the garbage can only to find gold: meatloaf. There are monsters to tend with—hairbrush-eating purses, menacing vacuum cleaners—but better, there are fine sentences with which to wrestle: “It was a spur-of-the-moment decision”; “Wherever the road leads me....However long it takes.” Drawn with spare linework and great blocks of soft, dreamy color in a nighttime palette, the pals’ setting appropriately shifts between mundane and extraordinary, just like their adventure.

Roll, fetch, bite. Life is good for Buddy and Earl in this aerobic exercise of the imagination.

(Picture book. 4-7)