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by Liz Kessler illustrated by ; Mike Phillips

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Aug. 27th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-7636-6569-2
Publisher: Candlewick

A family takes a seaside vacation with their Dalmatian, Poppy, who knows all about pirates from listening to books read by her young owner, Tim.

When the friendly dog chooses a skull-and-crossbones bandanna for herself, the family dubs her Poppy the Pirate Dog. They decide to take Poppy on a different sort of boat ride each day, but the dog has issues with all the boats: too fast, too slippery or too scary (the seals must be sea monsters!). The family keeps trying to find a pirate ship for Poppy, finally finding an old, red tugboat that suits persnickety Poppy perfectly, and they all enjoy a ride together with a pirate flag flying. Poppy is an appealing pooch, but there isn’t much conflict or drama here, nor any pirate talk or swashbuckling adventure. The text is divided into short chapters, with a large font and lots of white space around the text blocks to assist new readers. Illustrations in watercolor and ink provide an amusing personality for Poppy as she resists all the different boat rides and eventually feels like a big, brave dog.  

An adequate tale with the pull of pirates and pups, but alas, me hearties, no buried treasure here. (Early reader. 6-8)