The story begins with two insect brothers, Chug and Thug, being awakened by their mom for school. She has to work earlier than usual and tells her boys they must walk, but Chug asks if he can take his tricycle or “trike”. Mama Bug agrees and Chug and Thug set off. Chug, the elder brother, pumps the pedals, while Thug rides on the back.
The little creatures ride happily along until they meet Sally Spider, Worm Dude, and other small friends and teachers they know. These characters criticize the bug brothers for things such as riding the trike together because it will break, or allowing one to ride and the other to walk. The bugs accommodate the often-bossy comments of their associates throughout the book, as they don’t want to seem selfish and uncaring to their onlookers. Chug also worries about spoiling Thug, a very grown-up and unselfish thought.
Finally Chug and Thug realize that while their friends’ and teachers’ suggestions are helpful, it is important to do what they think is right. The brothers dismiss the peer pressure, compromise on what to do, and enjoy the rest of the ride to school. Their decision demonstrates the importance of being true to themselves, a “wise lesson” that parents can emphasize as they read this charming story to their little ones. The author includes discussion questions at the end of the book to help parents talk about peer pressure and being true to the self with children.
CHUG AND THUG RIDE TRIKE was inspired by a popular folk tale concerning a man, his son, and his donkey, a story often included in Aesop’s fables. The modern version of this classic fable resonates just as much to teach children around world a valuable lesson they will take into adulthood. It makes a wonderful addition to any child’s library not only because of the story, but because Macedo’s illustrations instantly transport the reader into a wondrous world where insects, spiders, and worms behave like their human counterparts: they wear clothes, enjoy furnished homes, go to work, and have children in school.
CHUG AND THUG RIDE TRIKE is a lovely children’s tale, written by Gemal Seede and beautifully illustrated by David Macedo, about the importance of following ones own heart and being true to yourself.
~Kent Page McGroarty for IndieReader