Poppy the Pirate Dog

illus. by Mike Phillips. 64p. Candlewick. Aug. 2013. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-0-7636-6569-2. LC 2012947713.
K-Gr 2—This is a sweet story about a Dalmatian named Poppy and her seaside vacation with her family. Divided into small chapters, the tale starts with Poppy getting a pirate scarf at a local shop. Once it is tied around her neck, she takes on the demeanor of her inner pirate and begins searching for the perfect vessel. As their vacation unfolds, Mom, Dad, and the kids enjoy a fishing excursion, pedal boats, speedboats, and even a boat that spots "sea monsters," none of which suit the pup. It is only when her humans do a bit of research that they come up with the ideal way to spend their last day. "We've found Poppy's perfect pirate ship! It's exactly the right size, it's not too fast, and there are no big scary sea monsters." Phillips's playful illustrations rendered in ink and watercolors provide strong context for assistance with word recognition, comprehension, and fluency. In the same vein as Cynthia Rylant's "Henry and Mudge" books (S & S), this well-crafted title is sure to be a hit with early readers.—Melissa Smith, Royal Oak Public Library, MI

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