Trip to Planet Doog
Given the intensity of the illustrations, this picture book should have come with a pair of sunglasses. Glaringly colored (in violent shades of teal green, passionflower purple and malaria yellow), the highly stylized artwork may leave some readers squinting. Unfortunately, the text doesn't fare much better. Handicapped at the outset by such cutesy names as ""Bobbin Robin,"" ""Cabot Rabbit"" and ""Poof Wolf,"" the characters and the story never get off the ground. (No wonder, since there's quite a bit of baggage here-twin morals about the importance of obeying rules and not judging a book by its cover.) Invited by Gribich (of Who Is Gribich) to visit an alien planet, the animals meet friendly Doogles, who possess superior hearing, vision, etc. Two of the crew are suspicious of their hosts and, disregarding warnings not to venture into a windy canyon, stray from the others. They're rescued in the end, of course-thanks to the very abilities that made them dislike their hosts in the first place. Both overwritten and pat, the text is awkward as a read-aloud and, with nine characters to track, occasionally confusing. Readers should brace themselves for future invasions: there's a host of new titles featuring Gribich and his friends in the works. Ages 3-7. (Apr.) FYI: The publisher offers a free quarterly newsletter, ""The Doogle Bugle.""