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ALL PAWS ON DECK by Jessica Young


From the Haggis and Tank Unleashed series, volume 1

by Jessica Young ; illustrated by James Burks

Pub Date: Jan. 5th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-545-81887-2
Publisher: Branches/Scholastic

Two bored pups take to the high seas in an imaginative and homophone-friendly caper.

Tank, a Great Dane of endless spunk and enthusiasm, and Haggis, a small Scottish terrier with an uncanny resemblance to Wilford Brimley, decide that the best way to spend a sunny morning is to pretend that they’re the “rrruff-est scallywags” to sail the seven seas. With Tank (aka “Bootleg Bonny”) providing the passion and Haggis (“Captain Scurvy”) the brains, they encounter everything from sneaky squeaky sea serpents and buried treasure to the perils of improper slipknots. Fortunately, when certain death threatens the daring duo, deliverance appears in the least likely of places. In this latest addition to Scholastic’s early chapter Branches imprint, Young spends a fair amount of time engaging her heroes in enticing banter and funny misunderstandings involving puns and homophones. It’s especially gratifying to see that the big, tough, strong dog character is a female. Burks’ plentiful, full-color art is consistently engaging, incorporating dialogue bubbles as well as regular typeset prose. Kids dipping a toe into the waters of early chapter books will find themselves challenged by the text while simultaneously enticed by the alluring art.

These salty sea dogs put the bite back in buccaneering.

(Graphic/fantasy hybrid. 6-9)