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). Learn more at kimnormanbooks.com. In addition to her personal website, Kim runs a popular site authorvisitsbystate.com, a portal connecting schools and authors. The site logs more than 40,000 unique visitors annually! She and her husband live in Smithfield, VA. Keika Yamaguchi has illustrated several children's books including Puddle Pug by Kim Norman and Teeny Tiny Toady by Jill Esbaum (both Sterling). She works as an artist at DreamWorksTV, and has previously worked for Walt Disney Imagineering and Disney Publishing Worldwide. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and three furry children. Visit keikashouse.com to see more of her work. Follow her @KeikaYamaguchi.
The friendship that bloomed in Puddle Pug (2014) between a pug and his porcine pal is now being tested. Percy the pug and Petunia the pig still love puddles. They also love playing hide-and-seek at night and giving great big puffs to dandelion seeds. But sometimes they do things separately, too. When Petunia goes to the Arlington County Fair and returns with a shiny blue ribbon, Percy is proud of his friend. But suddenly Petunia is very popular around the farm. Percy can't spend any time with her anymore because she is always surrounded by admirers. Dejected, Percy sits in a puddle, alone. But a Thunder Man comic book changes his mind. Thunder Man has something cooler than a blue ribbon--a cape! Tying a towel around his neck and taking a bold leap off packages of pig chow, Percy becomes...Thunder Pug! But even heroic deeds seem lonely without someone to share them with. Perhaps a special swine sidekick will help save the day. Navigating friendships and popularity can be difficult for youngsters; Percy is a shining example of empowerment. He climbs out of that murky puddle and decides to help others. Yamaguchi's pencil and digital illustrations leave plenty of room for expressive glee; her anthropomorphic animals are darling. Sometimes feeling overshadowed awakens superhero strengths--Thunder Pug shows the way. --Kirkus This follow-up to Norman and Yamaguchi's first collaboration, Puddle Pug (2014), showcases a friendship lost and restored. Percy and Petunia have their differences; to begin with, Percy is a pug and Petunia is a pig. But, as the glowing, old-fashioned, down-on-the-farm illustrations show, they like to do things together, like puffing dandelion seeds and lapping up puddles, cheek by jowl. One day, Petunia goes away in a truck to the county fair, returning with a blue ribbon. Petunia becomes a barnyard celebrity, leaving Percy feeling left out. Then Percy spots a discarded comic book in a puddle--a wondrous art deco-style comic starring the super-capable and gloriously caped Thunder Man. Percy gets his own cape (a towel) and has a wonderful time playing Thunder Pug, made even better when Petunia, with a towel of her own, joins him as his sidekick. This sweet and giggle-inducing story carries a great message about how acceptance of a friend's new role and a little independence can strengthen a friendship. --Booklist 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. -- School Library Journal