by Kim Norman
Illustrated by Keika Yamaguchi
Sterling Children's Books
ages 4 to 8
What’s a superhero without a sidekick? This delightful follow-up to the popular Puddle Pug brings back that perfectly THUNDER-ful pug-and-pig pair: Percy and Petunia.
Percy the Pug and Petunia the pig are the very best of pals . . . until Petunia wins a blue ribbon at the county fair. Suddenly, she has no time for hide-and-seek or lapping puddles, cheek-to-cheek. But when Percy finds a faded comic book in a puddle, the lonely pug dons a cape and takes on a new persona: THUNDER PUG! Even though being a superhero is exciting, Percy knows he’s missing something. Only when “Pink Lightning” (aka Petunia) joins him, and the two are “side by sidekick” again, are they truly living the heroic life!
Percy the pug is best friends with Petunia the pig, and they do everything together. One day, Petunia takes off and returns with a blue ribbon! Percy wants to congratulate her, but nothing works out. Soon, he sad and wants to find something wonderful on his own. When he runs across a comic book with a superhero, Thunder Pug is born! He's off to save...well, whatever he can. But something isn't right.
As a fan of pugs and cute, little pigs, this was a hit with my family from the very first page. Percy is an adorable, energetic ball of playfulness and adventure, which draws in and makes listeners want to have him as a friend of their own. Pig makes the perfect side-kick. The friendship between the two is golden and inspiring as every moment they spend together radiates happiness. The author is sure, however, to include that they do enjoy time by themselves two. When this perfect friendship is marred, it's hard not to feel sorry for Percy. Little listeners will easily relate to this feeling, and be excited when he discovers his new calling as Thunder Pug.
The illustrations and text go hand-in-hand. The wording is simple enough for younger listeners to easily understand, and keeps the pace high. The illustrations glide right along, adding the needed emotion and little details to make the tale come to life. The illustrations are not overly bright and hold a gentle tone. It's nicely put together for a great read-aloud. The message is clear and inspiring, keeping friendship at the center point, and the adventure never runs to extreme, making it great for the age group.
And here they are...
Kim Norman is the author of several children's books, including The Bot that Scott Built; This Old Van; Ten on the Sled; If It's Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!; and Crocodaddy (all Sterling). Kim runs Author Visits By State, a website connecting schools and authors. She lives in Smithfield, VA and is available for interview. Visit her at kimnormanbooks.com and follow her on twitter at @kimnormanauthor!
Keika Yamaguchi has illustrated several children's books including Puddle Pug and Teeny Tiny Toady (both Sterling). She workds as an artist at DreamWorksTV, and has previously worked for Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Publishing Worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles and is available for interview. Visit keikashouse.com to see more of her work, an follow her on twitter at @KeikaYamaguchi!