Disclosure: I was provided with a copy of Bud and Roo's Spectacular Adventures: The Beach for review purposes by Bugle Boy Publishing. No financial incentive was offered or accepted for this post, and all opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Jessica Valentine, the author of this sweet little picture book, contacted me on Twitter a while back and asked if I might be interested in reviewing Bud and Roo. I am usually up for a picture book offer, so I said sure, and soon enough an exciting international post envelope turned up for me from the UK.
The first thing to be said about this book is that it is very visually appealing. The illustrations look (according to my 7 year old, and I agree) like they have been drawn with textas, which creates a friendly, home-made feel to it all. The two dog main characters, Bud and Roo, are cute, although one small criticism I would make is that is is not clear which dog is which, a fact that bothered my 4 year old immensely. The oft-used "This is Bud. This is Roo" device doesn't appear, and to be honest, it's a classic for a reason - it lets kids quickly identify characters with their pictures, and this helps with story recognition later on.
In all other ways, though, the book is charming, simple and well crafted. I think it would best suit early readers or pre-readers - it's got a few words per page, a nice linear story with plenty of visual cues and repetitions, and a clear large font. It's not as quirky or complex as some of our favourite read-alouds, but for those very reasons, I've put it in the self-reading shelf along with the Spot the Dog and Scooby Doo early readers for 4 year old C to pick up. It'll suit her well as she starts to crack the code of written language.
This book retails in the UK for £5.99/$10.99 at Waterstones, WH Smith, Barnes & Noble, and independent booksellers. The ebook edition is available from Amazon.