'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 14 June 2011

Review: Chick ‘n’ Pug

I absolutely love the cover of Chick ‘n’ Pug – it’s one of those books I sat down and opened the moment it arrived – so anxious was I to dive inside and find out who on earth Chick and Pug are.

Well, they are a chick and a pug. Feisty little Chick is a super hero wannabe, after all, he’s read The Adventures of Wonder Pug 127 times! When Chick gets jack of his boring life in the coop, he heads off in search of wonderment – and comes across a real life wonder pug.

Agog at his discovery, Chick swoons as he patiently awaits the awakening of the sleeping Wonder Pug.

So he waits. And waits. Then takes it upon himself to wake his latent hero.

But Wonder Pug the red scarf-wearing pampered pooch, is not the be-caped hero Chick thought he might be. That is, until Chick works out a way to put his own super hero tendencies into action.

The images in this book are beautiful and totally adorable, but what I love most about Chick ‘n’ Pug is Sattler’s super charming and wit-driven prose. I do, however, feel the book’s storyline is a little confusing at times, mainly due to oddly placed speech bubbles or text that seems unassociated to previous text, or doesn’t make sense.

‘Look at him go! He must have trained vigorously to beat such an opponent!’ is a case in point. Coupled with a picture of the pug looking over his shoulder, it took me a while to work out what on earth Chick was talking about. Then I realized (due to two little movement lines) that the pug must have been chasing his tail (not really much of an ‘opponent’). But then I realized this wasn’t it either – he was actually wrestling to take his stripy top off (as indicated by a secondary picture of Pug laying on the top, seemingly suddenly asleep).

There are quite a few moments Chick ‘n’ Pug seems a little incongruous – and these moments were enough to stop me in my tracks and not ‘fall into’ the story as much as I would have liked. Another edit might have eradicated these problems. As it stands, the story just seems disappointingly disconnected.

Nonetheless, this is a sweet story with an ending that makes Chick realize he can be the hero. Sattler’s dry wit will charm adults while the illustrations will lure the kids.

Title: Chick ‘n’ Pug
Author/Illustrator: Jennifer Sattler
Publisher: Bloomsbury, $14.99
Publication Date: 1 May 2011
ISBN: 9781408813737
Format: Soft cover
For ages: 2 – 6
Type: Picture Book