cover image All Paws on Deck

All Paws on Deck

Jessica Young, illus. by James Burks. Scholastic, $15.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-545-81887-2

There’s more than a little Abbott and Costello in the goofy, misunderstanding-laden relationship between two dogs in this first book in the Haggis and Tank Unleashed series. As the exuberant Tank and crustier Haggis embark on an imaginary pirate escapade, Young (the Finley Flowers series) crams their dialogue with “Who’s on first?”-style homophones. “That’s a tall tale. Stop making up stories,” Haggis grumps when Tank spots a sea serpent heading their way. “It is a tall tail,” Tank responds. Burks (the Bird & Squirrel series) keeps the book’s six chapters zipping along in lively full-bleed images and panel sequences. The dogs’ odd-couple antics, loads of goofy humor, and an appealing comics/early reader format make for an all-around entertaining read. A sequel, Digging for Dinos, pubs in February. Ages 5–7. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary Agency. (Jan.)