Gidget the Surfing Dog: Catching Waves with a Small but Mighty Pug

Little Bigfoot. Apr. 2020. 48p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781632172716.
Gr 2-4–Gidget is a feisty pug; her owner Alecia tried to keep Gidget from destroying the furniture. Her methods included goat playmates and agility training. After watching a competition at the beach in Del Mar, CA, Alecia decided to attempt the sport of dog surfing. With a little practice, Gidget was ready to compete. Unfortunately, after her first competition, an underlying health condition prevented the pug from returning to her surfboard. Gidget received a diagnosis, began treatment for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, and made a full recovery. She went on to become a world champion dog surfer. The narrative is interspersed with information about surfing, the mechanics of waves, explanations of surfing jargon, tips for introducing one’s dog to surfing, and cartoon-like illustrations. The photography showing Gidget and her surfing competitions is charming and dynamic. The story of Gidget is quite simple and concludes with an environmental message to help keep the oceans clean, as well as a list of Gidget’s dog-surfing accolades and a brief note about Team Gidget’s new focus on charity.
VERDICT The storytelling is unsophisticated, but the photography is exciting. Readers can’t go wrong with the sheer kid-appeal of a surfing pug.

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