Buddy and Earl, dog and hedgehog, do what they do best: find adventure where there is none.
Fergus’ protagonists have been digging for treasure in the flower garden. But that gets old pretty fast, and Buddy, as is his wont, suggests a nap. Earl is appalled. He has decided they are superheroes: Wonder Buddy and Super Earl. They must save the city when an imaginary call from the mayor alerts the heroes to a villain on the loose. Buddy is a bit nonplussed by the whole fabrication, but Earl is the brains of the operation, and he keeps things rolling. Earl trails the villain to the new neighbors’ house, where they find Mister (a bulldog rather than a villain, and a bit of a rube, like Buddy) and Snowflake (not a villain but a cat, and a bit self-inflated, like Earl). There follow some classic follies—pride before the fall, dogs ripping leaf bags to shreds—which are successfully negotiated, and the new friends are invited to play Lick the Recycling Bin. At last it’s time for Buddy’s nap. The problem here is that the story lacks the bite of originality. Two little, fairly charming boasters get their comeuppance, but there is no way they will admit to it. Even Earl’s little zingers feel well-traveled.
Time for a nap. (Picture book. 4-9)