Margaret Read MacDonald & Rob McClurkan’s Tough Tug is a tough read

Tough TugTOUGH TUG, by Margaret Read MacDonald and Rob McClurkan, Two Lions, March 1, 2018, Hardcover, $17.99 (ages 3-7)

Tough Tug is a new boat. He likes to swirl. He likes to twirl. He likes to run and race. He’s a bit full of himself and wants everyone to see what he can do. It’s not until he sails to Alaska for the first time that Tough Tug realizes how important his job really is.

Oh how I wanted to love Tough Tug. The cover is so cute. The colors are bold, and Tough Tug looks just like a character you’d want your kid to admire. The illustrations truly are the star of this book.

The text, not so much.

Some of the text is fun to read aloud. It’s bold and has rhythm to it. The problem comes with the followup. You build a rhythm and then it just stops: 

Weld and Rivet!
Build a Tug!
“Hey, workers, make me strong!
Use sturdy steel
so big waves can’t break me!”

Prime and Paint!
Paint and Prime!
“I am Red! I love Red!
Don’t forget my name …
Tough Tug!”

It’s like the author couldn’t decide whether to write in rhyme or to tell the story straight so she mixed the two. It doesn’t work. This book is geared toward kids who are read to, and if I have a hard time reading it, my daughter won’t sit through it, no matter how cute the illustrations.

© 2018, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved.


About Author

Jessica Harrison is the main reviewer behind Cracking the Cover. Prior to creating Cracking the Cover, Jessica worked as the in-house book critic for the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City. Jessica also worked as a copy editor and general features writer for the paper. Following that, Jessica spent two years with an international company as a social media specialist. She is currently a freelance writer/editor. She is passionate about reading and giving people the tools to make informed decisions in their own book choices.

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