UG by Raymond Briggs

UG

by & illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 11
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Suggesting that some things haven’t changed since the Stone Age, Briggs (A Bit More Bert, p. 1300, etc.) introduces a moon-faced lad who infuriates his clueless parents by insistently questioning things-as-they-are. To the despair and fury of his dad, Dug, and mom, Dugs, Ug is forever complaining about his stone trousers, wanting something nicer for breakfast than “cold bits of dead animal,” wondering whether the stream couldn’t be “bent” a bit closer to the family cave. He’s not all talk, either, though most of his bright ideas come to naught; his stone boat sinks, his wheel rolls down the hill but has no other apparent use, and though his father indulgently cuts trousers for him from animal hide, they aren’t wearable, as sewing hasn’t been invented. Briggs tells the tale in cartoon panels with dialogue balloons, footnoting his own anachronisms: “No one living in the Stone Age would know he was living in the Stone Age. He would believe he was living in the modern age. Today we believe we are living in the modern age. Time will tell.” Ultimately, Ug fulfills his mother’s dark prediction that he would end up painting on walls, and is last seen beneath his art, still pining for something better. Beneath the satiric barbs there’s a touch of poignancy to this tale of a da Vinci just a few dozen millennia ahead of his time. (Picture book. 8-11)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-375-91611-3
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




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