Friday, May 26, 2017

Captain Pug: The dog who sailed the seas by Laura James, illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans

Pug lives with his best friend, the aristocratic Lady Miranda. Together, they have many adventures. But when Lady Miranda is invited to a party and tells Pug he will be Captain Pug, he is worried. Can he live up to his name? Will he learn to sail the seas?

Cheerful orange and blue pictures show a stereotypically British landscape. Lady Miranda is an autocratic and individual little girl, who demands her footmen dress in wigs and tailcoats and carry her in a sedan chair. There's no parents in the picture, but a host of dedicated servants. Pug is a cheerful and friendly animal with a simple reaction to anything unnerving - constant barking - and a determination to please his little mistress.

Normally, I'd look at this and take it off the list. Too British, do we really need more books about wealthy white kids and their pampered pets? Reading level too high for the kids who'd be interested in the story. But I have gotten a lot of interest from parents in reading aloud beginning chapter books with pictures to their younger children who eat up silly adventures with humor, talking animals, and quirky plots.

Verdict: If you have an audience for this kind of cozy read-aloud, it's a good addition. I wouldn't purchase it for kids to read on their own though.

ISBN: 9781681193809; Published 2016 by Bloomsbury; Borrowed from another library in my consortium

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