Jolly Roger is a small charmer. It doesn't aspire to Pinkwater's manic heights or indulge in the dumb-dumb drollery that puts his fans to the test. Rather, it's a nice low-keyed leg-puller, purporting to be the true story of the legendary Jolly Roger, a sailor's puppy dumped in Hoboken on captain's orders and adopted by The Kid, who parks and washes cars for a parking garage run by Marvin the Ape. Soon Jolly Roger starts taking longer and longer absences from his home at the parking garage. Before long, in a manner almost as offhand as Pinkwater's own, Jolly Roger bests the reigning canine boss to become king of the rough, tough dogs on the Hoboken waterfront. With no dramatics and no plot to speak of, Pinkwater drops a few observant, amusing details that tell how Jolly Roger runs the pack and wins general respect. On a typical passage, ""The cops especially liked Jolly Roger, and nearly every time the dog catcher got him, they would arrest the dog catcher and throw him in jail for a few hours."") Jolly Roger should also win Pinkwater new readers, for like the author he has a way of being thoroughly disarming without deigning to try. Pinkwater did the illustrations with a computer, and the little tricks and textures thus added to his deliberately underachieving style are among his best.