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Reviewed by Louanne Piccolo for Readers' Favorite
What’s a father Pug dog to do when his four children ask him for the one thing that would make them the happiest pugs in the world? Move heaven and earth to give it to them, of course! Grubson Pug’s Christmas Voyage by Jane-Anne Hodgson is an action-packed, plot-driven children’s book illustrated by Sam Hodgson. Although intended for children, adults will also get a kick out of Grubson Pug’s epic journey by sea to hunt down and buy the Christmas gifts his children have demanded of him. As he travels to various locations around Europe, he begins to understand that, although he can buy objects for his children, he can’t give them what they need. Each new destination teaches him a valuable lesson he must pass on to his children to help them grow and achieve their goals.
Grubson Pug’s Christmas Voyage is cleverly written and heartwarming. A charming story with unpretentious protagonists upholding old-fashioned values – so simple, but not without depth. Both funny and scary at times, in the nicest possible way for younger readers, Grubson Pug’s Christmas Voyage teaches children that hard work and a positive attitude pay off in the end. Grubson Pug and his youngest son Henri make for a courageous duo who face challenges with determination, and who serve as a believable moral backdrop to the rest of Grubson’s family. Sam Hodgson’s illustrations are delicate, detailed and offer perfect visual support throughout. Jane-Anne Hodgson has found the formula for creating irresistible fiction for young readers, drawing them in and compelling them to read right through to the end.