Thunder Pug
illus. by Keika Yamaguchi. 40p. Sterling. Jan. 2019. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781454923589.
PreS-Gr 2—Percy the pug and Petunia the pig are the best of friends. They love doing things together like puffing dandelion seeds, playing hide-and-seek, and carving paths through the tall weeds. But "sometimes Percy did pug things while Petunia did pig things" like going to the county fair. When Petunia returns from the fair sporting a blue ribbon, she is the darling of the barnyard. Every time Percy tries to congratulate her she is swept away by adoring critters and, since she wears her ribbon everywhere, she is constantly being sought out by her new fans. Percy is lonely, but when he discovers a Thunder Man comic book he gets an idea—Thunder Pug to the rescue! Being Thunder Pug is fun, but not quite right until the day Petunia shows up (still wearing her ribbon) to be his loyal sidekick, Pink Lightning. Finally together again, the duo is happily responsible for many rescues. They still don't do everything together, "but when they are together, they're perfectly…Thunderful!" This tale of friendship in turmoil is given added dimension by Yamaguchi's digitally colored pencil illustrations. They depict great facial expressions, lots of action, and show that Petunia isn't always thrilled with how her new fame keeps her from Percy. Norman's text, which is interspersed among the illustrations, is perfect for reading aloud.
VERDICT A great story of friendship and how it's rescued by a comic book. Pair with John Himmelman's Chickens to the Rescue for a heroic storytime.

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