Review Blog

Apr 05 2018

Pugs don't wear pyjamas by Michelle Worthington

cover image

Ill. by Cecilia Johansson. New Frontier Press, 2018. ISBN 9781925594034
(Age: 4+) Themes: Pugs. Pets. Dogs. Families. Responsibility. When Tom goes to stay with his aunt, she has a surprise for him. Aunt Roz has a pup, a pug called Ellie. Tom is even more surprised when Ellie seems to do everything that Aunt Roz does. Going to bed the first night, both Ellie and Tom are in their pyjamas in bed ready to hear their story. Tom says, 'Pugs don't wear pyjamas' and to his surprise, Aunt Roz replies, 'Ellie does'.
Each thing they do on his visit sees Ellie doing exactly the same things as people do. She sits at the table in the cafe, eating her cake and drinking her glass of cordial with a straw. She slides down the slippery dip, climbs the tree, rides a skateboard and makes friends wherever she goes. But Tom doesn't and he feels a little dejected.
Eventually Tom's ball skills means the latch on the back gate comes loose and Ellie runs off. Tom and Roz search high and low for the pug until they finally find her outside the pet shop. It is only now that Tom begins to realise some of the responsibility needed when owning a pet, as the idea of the animal being lost saddens him. But all finishes well.
This story reflects the idea of pet ownership and the responsibilities involved in having a pet in your home. It shows the relationship which develops between an animal and its owner, and begs the reader to question whether they would treat their animal in the way Aunt Roz or Tom do. Each page will bring a question to the lips of the reader, as they see the animal doing what they would do.
Swedish freelance illustrator, Johansson brings a layer of humour to the story which will be appreciated by the target audience.
Fran Knight

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