“Percy was a puddle pug. He loved puddles of every sort,” opens Norman’s (If It’s Snowy and You Know It, Clap Your Paws!) sweet-natured story about a dog’s hunt for the perfect puddle. Percy is both indiscriminate and a tough customer when it comes to puddles: he loves “swamp puddles, stomp puddles, ready-for-a-romp” puddles, but some puddles are too lonely, while others have the wrong kind of crowd: “Too buggy. Too sluggy.” When Percy finally finds the perfect spot—a deliciously muddy pigs’ wallow—Mama Pig won’t let him near it. Although the resolution follows a well-trod path (after a storm hits, Percy proves his puddle-worthiness by rescuing a piglet), Norman’s storytelling bounds along with an energy to match that of Percy. Working in a palette of muddy blues, greens, and browns, Yamaguchi, illustrator of the self-published Sick of Being Sick, seals the deal. Pug devotees will be all over roly-poly Percy’s enormous and expressive eyes, surreptitious attempts at infiltrating the pigs’ wallow, and all-around gleeful splashing in puddles large and small. Ages 3–up."
"Are the pigs’ digs big enough for both a porcine family and a mud-loving pug?
Percy the pug loves puddles, the muddier the better. He even makes a map of his favorite puddles so he can find them easily. One day, he hears splashing on the other side of the fence and, peering through, sees the perfect puddle. He sneaks in under the fence and begins some serious splashing. The resident piglets don’t seem to mind, but the big sow glowers at him, and in no time, Percy is back outside the fence. Now all the old puddles seem inadequate. Every time he tries to sneak back, Mama sends him packing. A severe rainstorm changes everything: A tree crashes into the wallow, and all the pigs are displaced. Worse, tiny Petunia is missing. It’s Percy who comes to the rescue, finding the missing piglet thanks to his map of puddles. Reunited with Petunia, Mama’s whole body twitches “with piggly jiggly joy.” From then on, Percy is able to enjoy his very favorite puddle. This playful, accessible friendship story features some nice vocabulary choices, and its sly use of voice puts readers in Percy’s paws: “But his puddle did not love him back”—that big old sow is never mentioned. Partaking of an animation aesthetic, Yamaguchi’s pencil-and–digital paint illustrations are simple and clean, the animals adorable.