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Jez Alborough is a hugely popular, award-winning author and illustrator of books for children, well-known for his stories about Bobo the chimp, star of Hug (9780744582734), Tall (9781406301731) and Yes (9781406304565), as well as his tales about Eddy and the Bear, which inspired a BAFTA-winning animated TV series. He lives in Richmond, Surrey.
Although Alborough's illustrations are animated and action-filled, his story of Cuddly Dudley--unlike his clever Where's My Teddy? --seems both hackneyed and predictable. Since this ``adorable'' penguin's family can't ``resist having a huddle and a waddle and a cuddle with him,'' poor Dudley leaves home to find a spot where he can play without being disturbed. When his siblings follow his ``waddleprints'' to the cabin, Cuddly Dudley turns away each relative with cartoon-style irascibility; enter a man in a furry parka who chases the put-upon penguin ``all around the house and out into the snow,'' shouting ``Give me a cuddle!'' When Dudley finally escapes and wends his way home, he and his brothers and sisters have ``the best huddling, waddling, cuddling session that they'd ever had. Until . . . ''--at the turn of the last page, the Eskimo man arrives and races after them all. With its one-dimensional characters and mass-market style, this penguin tale proves too cutesy for words--and, no doubt, for many tastes. Children's BOMC selection. Ages 3-up. (Apr.)
Beautifully illustrated... Dudley is a delightful character. * The School Librarian *
PreS-Gr 1-- Dudley the penguin is so cuddly that he finds himself constantly surrounded by brothers and sisters who want to hug him. When he finds what he thinks is an abandoned cabin, he enjoys the solitude until the owner returns and also wants to cuddle. The illustrations are in soft-lined, pastel colors, which warm up the Antarctic setting. The writing is somewhat soft, too, full of words like ``huddle,'' ``waddle,'' ``toddled,'' etc. It's not an exciting story, but the images of lots of snuggly penguins might appeal to children. One note: the cabin owner looks like what people once referred to as an ``Eskimo.'' While his home is modern, with books, plumbing, and typewriter, his clothes are hand-sewn and rather outdated in this age of Thinsulate and lightweight alpine ski clothing. In an otherwise moderately amusing story, that strikes a discordant note. --Christine A. Moesch, Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, NY