cover image Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog

Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog

Peter Meisel, illus. by Paul Meisel. Bloomsbury, $9.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-61963-778-8

In an ultrasilly, swashbuckling addition to the Read and Bloom line, author-illustrator Paul Meisel and his son Peter introduce Spike, a scruffy shipyard dog who delights in “the nastiest, ickiest, foulest stinks he could sniff.” When a mishap sends Spike adrift at sea in a bucket of “rotten fish bits,” he’s eventually rescued by Captain Fishbeard and the crew of the Driftwood, who dub him Stinky Spike and employ him to sniff out treasure. Unfortunately for the pirates, Spike’s idea of treasure is smelly underwear, not gold. The plentiful full-color illustrations play up the story’s olfactory theme, which should delight those beginning readers whose sense of humor tends toward the gross-out. Simultaneously available: Stinky Spike and the Royal Rescue. Ages 5–7. Agent: Jennifer Mattson, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)