A baby who’s eager to pass out hugs is told to refrain from hugging the dog, a pug.
Dad tells baby the child can hug the bug, the rug, the jug, and even the slug. However, says Dad, “Don’t hug the pug!” It turns out that “the pug farts. It’s very stinky.” But baby hugs the flatulent pug anyway…but the resulting malodorous scent appears to not be the fault of the sweet dog but of someone’s dirty diaper. The premise and outline of this silly story works as a repetitive pattern rhyme perfect for new readers. “Slug?” queries the child. Dad responds: “You can hug the bug and the rug and the jug and the slug, but…Don’t hug the pug!” Thin-lined cartoon drawings in muted hues depict a bearded father and a diapered baby (both white) on a rather messy floor in this British import; the text is contained entirely in speech balloons. Dog lovers may rejoice to note the pug is not the culprit, and early readers will gain a clearer understanding of the building of a sound pattern. Endpapers feature line drawings of “-ug” words, including some not in the text, such as a mug and a plug.
A smelly situation contrived to create an easily legible text for budding readers. (Picture book. 4-5)