Review of “Oh, Brother! A Nico and Tugger Tale” by Kimberly Sentek

Nico and Tugger

Sibling rivalry, puppy-dog style. Nico is the family dog, and happy to be the loved and pampered little fellow that he is. When his people bring home another puppy, Nico is at first thrilled to have a new toy–even if it squirms and yips. But the bloom is soon off the dogwood, as Tugger keeps Nico up all night with his crying. He steals Nico’s toys, and, it seems, the hearts of the people Nico used to call his own.

Tugger always dreamed of having a brother who would play with him and be a friend. When he is dropped into Nico’s home, he is soon perplexed by Nico’s attitude towards him. Why doesn’t his big brother like him? Why doesn’t he like it when Tugger helps himself to Nico’s toys, and gets first place with the people of the house?

The problem is resolved in a very surprising way, considering who takes the initiative to make everyone happy.

This is a terrific little lesson, geared to the youngest of hearts, on how to adapt to new environments and new personalities. The dogs are perfect role models on how to handle (and how NOT to handle) jealousy and sibling rivalry.

The illustrations, by Eumir Carlo Fernandez, are absolutely perfect. They catch the nuances and emotions in the faces of the dogs so well that it is very easy to see what they are feeling.

I highly recommend this story, both as a new reader book, and as a story to read to preschoolers. All would get a lot of satisfaction from it. Nice job, Ms. Sentek!!

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