Pugs and Hugs: When Goofs Came Home, and Jimmy Miniature: A Day at the Fancy Dress Show
Inspired by animals in her life, author Karen Groshinski has written and illustrated two picture books full of the escapades of creatures great and small.
In the first book, Groshinski is inspired by her own pet pugs. Pugs and Hugs: When Goofs Came Home tells the story of Groshinski's pug Goofs and his introduction to their family.
Her other two pugs, Teddy and Pugsy, were at first not pleased but eventually fall in love with the little puppy. The story follows the drama and incidents those of us that have had new puppies know all too well - think pee, slobber and plenty of energy!
Groshinski uses rhyme to help tell the story, and while some of the pages follow a nice rhythm, others felt a little too forced. Fortunately, little readers didn't notice as they were too caught up with Goof's puppy escapades.
Each page also follows a simple pattern, which made it easy for my little ones to pick up and read themselves. Groshinski uses verbs and onomatopoeia to finish each page, visually marked out by the use of capitals.
The second book, Jimmy Miniature: A Day At The Fancy Dress Show, was inspired by Groshinski's mother's horse. Together he and Pam dominate the Clevedon A&P show, winning ribbons for their St Patrick's Day themed costumes.
The story follows the pair in a familiar setting for many New Zealand children, the local A&P show, completed with pigs, candyfloss and less than ideal weather.
Groshinski illustrates both books, using bright colour and simple layouts.
The books are fun stories for little ones, with instantly recognisable settings and events, sprinkled with a good dose of humour.
Reviewed by: Rebekah Lyell
CreateBooks, RRP $20 each.