Pugs Don’t Wear Pyjamas (Michelle Worthington, illus by Cecilia Johansson, New Frontier)
As far as dogs go, pugs are pretty adorable with their squishy faces, flat noses and curly tails, but Ellie is no ordinary dog. Her owner Roz treats her like a fur baby (indulgent pet owners may understand this). So when Tom comes to hang out with his aunt Roz, he’s surprised that not only does Ellie wear pyjamas (more of a dog-onesie), she also wears a sunhat on the beach, sits in cafés and sips through a straw. Tom is a little confused about this most un-canine behaviour. Ellie is extremely popular too, garnering friends wherever she goes (unlike poor Tom, who is ignored). One day, however, Tom’s negligence allows Ellie to escape, and Tom realises he does care for this pug after all. Pugs Don’t Wear Pyjamas is a sweet read for kids—pre-schoolers in particular—who like a bit of silliness in their books. And really, what kids don’t? Paired with Cecilia Johansson’s suitably cute illustrations, Michelle Worthington’s simple text can start discussions about how pets are part of the family (even if they don’t wear clothing or go skateboarding).
Thuy On is a freelance arts journalist and reviewer and the books editor of the Big Issue