Kyla May’s Pug Blasts Off is a great introduction to chapter books

Diary of a PugPUG BLASTS OFF, by Kyla May, Scholastic Inc., Oct. 1, 2019, Softcover, $4.99 (ages 5-7)

Kyla May’s Diary of a Pug: Pug Blasts Off has opened a new world of books for me, and more importantly, my 5-year-old daughter.

Pug Blasts Off takes readers into the world of Baron von Bubbles. Bub is the self-proclaimed cutest pug on the planet! Things he loves: fashion, peanut butter, and his human, Bella. Things he does NOT love: Nutz the squirrel, baths, and the rain. When Bella enters the Inventor Challenge, Bub helps her craft the best project ever. But what happens when Nutz gets on Bub’s nerves and makes him ruin Bella’s project? If Bub wants to make it up to Bella, he’ll have to stand up to Nutz — and the rain — once and for all. —synopsis provided by Scholastic

Pug Blasts Off is the first book in May’s Diary of a Pug series. The series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches, aimed at newly independent readers. The book features short chapters, easy-to-read sentences and cute illustrations that support the text but don’t give everything away.

To say my 5-year-old was entranced by Pug Blasts Off would be an understatement. We read a chapter each night, often trading off pages to read aloud. This was my daughter’s first introduction to a diary format, and she found it fascinating.

The biggest thing, however, was that she has spent time alone with the book, looking at the illustrations and reading on her own. It’s a gentle introduction to chapter books that is easy enough for a “win” but inspires further reading.

Truthfully, I would never have picked up Pug Blasts Off on my own. It’s just not something that would have ever sparked my interest. I’m so grateful to the Scholastic publicist who sent it to me for review. I’m already looking at other Branches books to purchase (can’t beat $4.99 per paperback book), and my daughter can’t wait for Diary of a Pug Book 2 — Pug’s Snow Day, which is slated for release late 2019.

© 2019, Cracking the Cover. All rights reserved. Unless otherwise noted, all books — digital and physical — have been provided for free by publishers in exchange for honest and unbiased reviews. All thoughts and opinions are those of the reviewer.


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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