HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Doug Chronicles (#2): Porkchop to the Rescue
Author: Jim Rubin
Illustrator: Matthew C. Peters
Publisher: Disney Press, 1998
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: 2 stars (POOR)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Rubin, Jim. The Doug Chronicles (#2): Porkchop to the Rescue (published in 1998 by Disney Press). Doug is an American animated sitcom that was created by Jim Jinkins and produced by Jumbo Pictures for the Nickelodeon network, as the first of their successful line of Nicktoons. Later on, the series was then produced for Disney for airing on ABC’s One Saturday Morning block. The series stars and deals with the life of the title character, sixth grader, and diarist Douglas Yancey Funnie and takes place in the fictitious town of Bluffington, where Doug and his family had moved from Bloatsburg. It premiered on Nickelodeon on August 11, 1991, where it continued until December 16, 1994, and in reruns until 2002. In the pilot episode, Doug and his family, with father Phil, mother Theda, and sister Judy, come to a new town called Bluffington after moving away from their former residence in Bloatsburg. There he meets Skeeter, Patti, Roger and Beebe, and his new life in a new town begins. In 1996 Disney ordered new episodes of Doug to be produced renamed Brand Spanking New! Doug and then later Disney’s Doug, which was in production from 1996 to 1999.
As a result of the popularity of the animated television series, several related books were written by different authors and published by Disney for young people. Our older son Mark, when he was about twelve, saw some of the cartoons when we visited with others who had cable TV or when we stayed in motels, so my wife Karen checked several of the books out of the library for him to read, such as Doug Rules, Itchy Situation, Winter Games, A Day with Dirtbike, Doug Cheats, and Porkchop to the Rescue, in which Doug and his dog Porkchop are getting ready for a camping trip in Yakastonia. Then Judy comes in to the room reading a book on exotic monsters from around the world and starts talking about the fire breathing wort gobblins. When they get to Yakastonia the counsellor tells a story about the fire breathing wort gobblin and a huge gust of wind blows over the campsite, so everyone runs away. Doug and a Yakescout named Doog get lost in the dark and forbidding forest. Luckily, due to Porkchop’s superior sense of smell, Doug lives to tell the tale. Doug is supposed to use humor to deal with various situations that young people face in today’s world. I suppose that the television show and books may have some benefit, but I found them rather stupid and think that there are better ways of introducing those situations to children. I did not like the cartoons, and I did not like the books either.