I hope you’re ready for cuteness overload today because the Maniacal Book Club is pleased to introduce you to an adorable (and hardy!) little protagonist who will likely steal your heart, as well as your jam tarts. I speak of Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas, who is making his debut in a delightfully illustrated early chapter book by Laura James and Eglantine Ceulemans. We received a review copy of Captain Pug from Bloomsbury Australia and he has immediately become a favourite of the eldest mini-fleshling in the dwelling. But let’s find out more about this intrepid Pug! Here’s the blurb from Goodreads:
Pug is going on a seafaring adventure. He’s had jam tarts for breakfast. He’s wearing a smart sailor suit. There’s just one problem. Pug is afraid of the water!
Captain Pug is the first book in a glorious new illustrated series for fans of Claude and Squishy McFluff.
How could you not love that sweet little puggy face? Here’s what the Book Club think:
What does it take to follow one’s dreams? Courage, persistence and a sense of adventure. What does it take to follow the dreams of one’s owner? All of the above plus a fancy hat. We can learn much from the tenacity of young Captain Pug, who presses on despite a fear of water, to fulfill the hopes of his fine Lady Owner. We can also learn much from Pug’s experiences in the gastronomic field – namely, the truth of that old piece of household wisdom about refraining from swimming (or indeed sailing) immediately after eating.
There were no dragons in this book. There is a cool little dog who tries to be the captain of a boat but he keeps getting seasick because he eats everything he sees. I liked the two Footmen who had to carry the dog’s owner around in a chair. I can imagine Bruce in a chair like that.
The ending is pretty exciting, with helicopters and a big ship and I really liked all the pictures.
Pug is pretty funny but I hope there’s going to be a Pug book with a dragon in it soon.
Captain Pug, oh Captain Pug!
Cute as a little red ladybug.
He keeps up his morale as he sails the canals!
Hits the right note while in a rowboat!
Proves no pug is finer while on a cruise liner!
Captain Pug, oh Captain Pug!
There’s no other dog we would more like to hug.
While I’m not entirely sure about the technique involved in Mad Martha’s poem, I do have to agree with her sentiment about just how charming Captain Pug is in this attractively presented little tome. I am always a little skeptical of advertising material that insinuates that a reader will love this new book if they are a fan of an already published author or work, particularly when all the stories have in common is the fact that a dog is the main character. The media release that came with this book indicated that it would be lapped up by fans of Aaron Blabey’s morally bankrupt picture book hero, Pig the Pug, presumably due to the pugginess of Captain Pug. The eldest mini-fleshing in the dwelling, at five years old, is a massive fan of the aforementioned Pig, but I wasn’t sure he was going to enjoy this one simply because it had a pug on the cover. Allow me to be the first to admit my ill-placed skepticism however, because after watching the read-aloud of this book (which took only two sittings) the mini-fleshling was already asking how long he would have to wait before the second book (Cowboy Pug) comes out. *January 2017, for those who are interested!*
So after a slightly apprehensive start, I freely confess to being won over by the fun, charming, humorous adventures of this cute little pug (who of course looks even cuter in a sailor hat). One of the best things about the book is that it is illustrated throughout, with pictures placed strategically around the text. This was an enormous boon to the mini-fleshling, as he is not quite ready for pictureless read-alouds but can handle listening to longer bits of text when there are pictures to help him keep up with the story. The book also makes clever use of fonts and text enlargements to aid the newly confident reader.
The first few chapters moved a bit more slowly than I would have liked, setting up Lady Miranda (Pug’s owner), her life of luxury, and her dreams for Pug to achieve glory as a charmingly attired sea captain. The second half of the book moved a lot quicker as Lady Miranda and Pug inadvertently become separated and Pug must face the trials of overcoming his fear of water in ever more precarious (and amusing) situations.
I would heartily recommend Pug’s first outing as an engaging read-aloud or read-together for those taking their first steps into longer books or for more confident readers who love a bit of silliness and a whole lot of beguiling illustration.
The Book Club gives this book:
Eight thumbs up!
Until next time,