I absolutely adored the previous books in the ‘Adventures of Pug’ series, so I had high hopes for the newest one, Pirate Pug: The Dog Who Rocked the Boat (Bloomsbury). I was not disappointed!
This time Pug and his owner, Lady Miranda, are off on a seaside holiday… and straight into an adventure. First of all a parrot called Rio flies into their hotel room just as Pug is about to tuck into his beloved jam tarts (‘Pug had never had such an exciting breakfast’). Then after a unfortunate beachball incident Pug is left having to wear an eyepatch, just like a pirate.
But Pug is scared of water! Can he be a land-based pirate? No, he cannot. Because Rio the parrot has carried off the mayor’s gold chain onto a little island, so Pug & Co. are forced to give chase on a boat called The Fearless, desperate to retrieve the treasure before rival mean boy pirates get to it first.
In my opinion Pug is one of the very best young fiction characters around and this latest adventure might just be my favourite.
Laura James’ writing is funny and warm-hearted, and the exciting plot keeps you turning page after page. The illustrations by Églantine Ceulemans are just stunning and really make this series even more special – I laughed out loud at several of the pictures, including the one of Pug chucking himself heroically through a window. There’s even a gorgeous map in the front, pointing out such landmarks as ‘Stub Toe Cove’ and ‘Surprisingly Big Trees’.