cover image Puddle Pug

Puddle Pug

Kim Norman, illus. by Keika Yamaguchi. Sterling, $14.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4549-0436-6

“Percy was a puddle pug. He loved puddles of every sort,” opens Norman’s (If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!) sweet-natured story about a dog’s hunt for the perfect puddle. Percy is both indiscriminate and a tough customer when it comes to puddles: he loves “swamp puddles, stomp puddles, ready-for-a-romp” puddles, but some puddles are too lonely, while others have the wrong kind of crowd: “Too buggy. Too sluggy.” When Percy finally finds the perfect spot—a deliciously muddy pigs’ wallow—Mama Pig won’t let him near it. Although the resolution follows a well-trod path (after a storm hits, Percy proves his puddle-worthiness by rescuing a piglet), Norman’s storytelling bounds along with an energy to match that of Percy. Working in a palette of muddy blues, greens, and browns, Yamaguchi, illustrator of the self-published Sick of Being Sick, seals the deal. Pug devotees will be all over roly-poly Percy’s enormous and expressive eyes, surreptitious attempts at infiltrating the pigs’ wallow, and all-around gleeful splashing in puddles large and small. Ages 3–up. Author’s agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Apr.)