Pug and Doug

Steve Breen, Author, Steve Breen, Illustrator
Steve Breen. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3521-7
Reviewed on: 12/17/2012
Release date: 01/10/2013
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A misunderstanding pushes a canine friendship to the brink in this quietly humorous story from Breen (The Secret of Santa’s Island). Best pals Pug and Doug know well each other’s strengths and shortcomings (“Doug was artistic. Pug not so much,” writes Breen, showing Doug sculpting a passable version of Rodin’s The Thinker out of snow, while Pug’s snowman is a misshapen mutant). Lovers of polka music and bird-watching, they have always successfully navigated any bumps in their relationship, but when Doug finds a shared memento in Pug’s trashcan and spies a diary entry that reads, “I’m really sick of old Doug,” he’s thrown for a loop. Doug leaves Pug an “I’m sorry we can’t be friends anymore” note, and while Pug is initially baffled, he quickly figures out what happened and goes full bore trying to set things right. Breen juggles a variety of engaging perspectives throughout his mixed-media compositions, including occasional comic strip–style panel sequences. Readers will recognize the ebb and flow of friendship and the importance of clear communication—especially when it comes to half-finished diary entries about old doughnuts. Ages 3–5. Agent: Teresa Kietlinski, Prospect Agency. (Jan.)
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