cover image Cuddly Dudley

Cuddly Dudley

Jez Alborough. Candlewick Press (MA), $14.95 (32pp) ISBN 978-1-56402-095-6

Although Alborough's illustrations are animated and action-filled, his story of Cuddly Dudley--unlike his clever Where's My Teddy? --seems both hackneyed and predictable. Since this ``adorable'' penguin's family can't ``resist having a huddle and a waddle and a cuddle with him,'' poor Dudley leaves home to find a spot where he can play without being disturbed. When his siblings follow his ``waddleprints'' to the cabin, Cuddly Dudley turns away each relative with cartoon-style irascibility; enter a man in a furry parka who chases the put-upon penguin ``all around the house and out into the snow,'' shouting ``Give me a cuddle!'' When Dudley finally escapes and wends his way home, he and his brothers and sisters have ``the best huddling, waddling, cuddling session that they'd ever had. Until . . . ''--at the turn of the last page, the Eskimo man arrives and races after them all. With its one-dimensional characters and mass-market style, this penguin tale proves too cutesy for words--and, no doubt, for many tastes. Children's BOMC selection. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)