Dude: Fun with Dude and Betty

Lisa Pliscou, illus. by Tom Dunne. Harper, $14.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-175690-0
Pliscou and Dunne, in their first children's book, spoof Dick and Jane with an introduction to surfer lingo, set in squeaky-clean SoCal environs. Dude, a blond boy in sunglasses, hits the beach with his surfboard, his "most excellent dog" Bud, and his pal Betty, "a righteous surf bunny." Pliscou mimes the sincere voice and meticulous punctuation of an easy reader ("See Dude surf. Whoa! Look at Dude surf. Surf, Dude, surf"). Her humor arises from unexpected vocabulary ("Stokaboka!"), paired with Dunne's earnest illustrations of Dude hanging 10, wiping out, and visiting a taco stand for "a bodacious burrito"—things Dick and Jane never dreamed of. In the book's funniest moment, Bud scarfs down Dude's lunch ("Most heinous, Bud!"). Girls may raise an eyebrow when Betty works on her tan while Dude surfs (to her credit, Betty later steps into the ocean with her board); parents may do the same when Dude and Betty flee the "gnarly scene" at home after the boy's parents ask if he's cleaned his room and done his homework. A glossary that defines terms like "awesome," "bummer," and "cranking" closes out this tongue-in-cheek primer. All ages. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/21/2011
Release date: 05/01/2011
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-06-175691-7
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