Set sail for the high seas with piratical pups galore.
In this weak entry into the pirate canon (no pun intended), a crew of basset hounds and other sundry animals search the seas for the dreaded pirate Barkbeard. As the pirate captain informs readers, Barkbeard stole his gold and he needs them to join in the hunt. A half-hearted attempt at audience participation comes in the form of the occasional “Yo-ho!” but for the most part that’s the extent of it. When at last Barkbeard is reached, he’s a tiny, soggy doggy. That’s OK, though, because soon everyone’s a friend and the treasure is shared because “Thar’s treasure in friendship.” Related in rhyming couplets, the narrative can often be difficult to follow. The muddled art also makes odd choices (was it truly necessary for the sole dog in a skirt to have a purple cannon decorated with daisies?). A glossary at the end is mostly fine, though it has more than a few questionable entries, as in a rambling, nonmedical definition of “Scurvy” (“These kinds of seadogs aren’t the tail-wagging sort. / They’re gnarly and snarly with tempers quite short”). Pirate-dog lovers may prefer to seek out the truly fine hounds of the sea found in Bad Pirate, by Kari-Lynn Winters and illustrated by Dean Griffiths (2015).
A poxy adventure, all told. (Picture book. 3-6)