Picture Book Review: Thunder Pug
Author: Kim Norman
Illustrator: Keika Yamaguchi
Publisher: Sterling Children’s Books
Age Range: 3 and up
Grade Level: Preschool and up
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!
Thunder Pug is a tender story about friendship featuring a delightful pug named Percy and a pig named Petunia. Percy and Petunia do so many things together and clearly cherish each other. They also do many things independent of each other and the importance of individualism is stressed as well as the connection of friendship. The story shows that relationships change and can grow stronger because of the different individual experiences each party brings to the relationship.
When Petunia starts to receive a lot of attention for winning a blue medal at the county fair, Percy starts to feel lonely and perhaps a little bit “less than” Petunia. This is never stated but one gets the feeling when reading that a bit of jealousy is present. Overall, though, he just misses his friend.
Percy discovers a comic book about a superhero and uses that story to inspire his own super heroic alter ego – Thunder Pug! Percy loved being Thunder Pug – it was exciting, he was helping others – but deep down he was still lonely and missed his friend. It’s only when Petunia joins Percy as Pink Lightning that the two realize just how much they value each other and that even though they are unique and special in their own ways, they are strengthened through their friendship.
I absolutely adored this book. The illustrations complement the story perfectly, telling their own tales of adventure. Little ones will love the excitement, the colors and the adventure of Thunder Pug and Pink Lightning!
About the Author
Kim Norman’s children’s books have been published by Dial, Dutton, Sterling and Scholastic. Her books have been well-reviewed in publications such as the New York Times and Publishers Weekly and have been distributed in Scholastic Book Fairs and take-home Club fliers. Kim has built a national reputation as a school presenter, having done author visits in nearly two hundred schools around the country.
Kim is an actress and singer and has been known to practice her time step in a grocery line. Her books often feature animals, which were a big part of her childhood. Family pets included unusual critters such as a squirrel, an iguana and a raccoon named Danny.
I obtained a copy of this book to review from my local library. I’m working my way through 500 picture books. Need a picture book review? Contact me!