The Problem with the Puddles
by Kate Feiffer
ill. Tricia Tusa
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2009
Mr. and Mrs. Puddle started agreeing to disagree when their daughter was born 8 1/2 years ago and they couldn't agree on a name. Mrs. Puddle calls her Emily and Mr. Puddle calls her Ferdinanda. Everyone else just calls her Baby because that is what the nurse ended up writing on her birth certificate. Baby, her parents and her older brother Tom are leaving their country house to return to the city. Everything is a typical chaotic muddle as they load the car, barely leaving room for themselves. They are two hours down the road when they realize they have left their two dogs, Big Sally and Little Sally, behind. Thus begins their adventure in trying to decide whether or not to return immediately for the pets or go home and call a neighbor to look after them until they can make it back to the country. Numerous other characters are introduced, each quirkier than the last.
This book was almost too ridiculous to read. There was so much nonsense and repetitive jabbering that it made my head hurt. I came close to giving up on this book several times. Thankfully, the author wrapped everything up nicely in the end. Tricia Tusa's black and white illustrations scattered throughout the book were cute and fit well with the story. Children in the 8-10 year-old range will probably get many more laughs out of this book than I did.