Ever since the first book of their adventures, Henry and Mudge have held a special place in the hearts of all children--especially lovable Mudge, Henry's 180-pound best friend with endearing eyes and drooping jowls. Now comes the perfect gift idea--a paperback edition of the first book of their adventures accompanied by a plush, 9" Mudge toy. CC
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ea. vol: illus. by Sucie Stevenson. CIP. Bradbury. 1987. PSS (cl.sp.) $10.95. Grade 1-3 Henry has no brothers or sisters, and no neighborhood kids to play with, so his parents let him choose a dog companion in Henry and Mudge . He selects Mudge, who grows out of seven collars and into a drooling hound weighing 180 pounds and standing three feet tall. The galumphing Mudge of these stories has appeal, and there is a knowing warmth in his and Henry's attachment, but the relationship can get a bit precious; the friendship gets a tad too dependent (``when Henry was at school, Mudge just lay around and waited. Mudge never went for a walk without Henry again''). The big animal/small person contrast is the draw here. The illustrationsblack line cartoon drawings in colorful washesfall down in creating a Henry who looks much different from many other cartoon boys, but Mudge is a lovable galoot and can express nuances of feeling both in his face and in his body actions. . . .Puddle Trouble works better than the first book in the series. The stories hereHenry's longing to pick a first Spring flower, Henry and Mudge's splashing in a huge puddle, and Mudge's protection of a box of five kittenshave some funny unexpected plot curves and give the pair a chance for some extended interaction. Mudge is still the lovably out-of-bounds pudding foot, sneezing and spraying his way through the full-color cartoons. Henry is less awkward looking this time out, but remains predictably cartoony and lacking in nuance. Kids will enjoy Mudge's well-intentioned goofiness, his fierce defense of the kittensas well as the puddle free-for-all with Henry and his dad. The somewhat flaky emoting that marred parts of the first book is pretty much gone from this round, and it's a good choice for the easy reading shelf.
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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