The best kind of puppy treat!
Sunny and Rosy's human packs for vacation, but doesn't take her beloved dogs with her! Instead, they get to visit Grandma and Grandpa, who dote on the pups. Sunny explains that there will be all sorts of head rubs and extra treats, so Rosy thinks this is a good plan. When Grandma takes them out to garden, however, she thinks that the dogs are responsible for tearing up some of her vegetables, and thinks they are naughty! They don't get to go outside as much, and their special barbecue treat is canceled! Oh, no! The dogs know that they didn't damage anything, so they start to investigate who did. In their best detective costumes, they go into the garden while the grandparents are away, and take a closer look at the clues. They meet Clove, a groundhog, who is sympathetic to their task, but are not able to solve the mystery. They spend their days doing yoga, watching movies and eating popcorn, and generally enjoying their new atmosphere, but as their vacation draws to a close, they know they much figure out their problem. They find the culprit right under their noses, and he apologizes. More importantly, the pugs manage to alert the grandparents about the thief without getting him into danger. The barbecue is back on, and the pugs find at the end of their vacation that their harnesses are a bit snug after their surfeit of snacks!
While it's fairly clear to the reader who is stealing the vegetables, we see all of the events from the pugs' perspective, so we can also understand why they are a bit in the dark. I do love the "dog's eye" view presented here-- we only see the legs of the humans, and occasionally hands that are feeding treats or petting the dogs. It's fun to see the dogs' list of the highlights of their vacation-- making new friends, relaxing outside, snuggling, playing, and of course, treats! That was the only thing that concerned me-- I hope that Rosy and Sunny's human takes them on lots of walks so that their extra treats don't cause any health problems!
This series is a step up for readers who have enjoyed the goofy early reader mysteries of Robert M. Quackenbush (Sherlock Chick, Henry) or Kin Platt (Big Max) but who like a few more pictures than Warner's The Boxcar Children or Roy's Alphabet Mysteries provide. The drawings are so much fun that this could also be a read aloud for a younger child who must leave a pet with someone else, and even my middle school students find these to be a bit of a "vacation" read!