cover image Captain Pug

Captain Pug

Laura James, illus. by Églantine Ceulemans. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (128p) ISBN 978-1-68119-380-9

A dog with a fear of the water reluctantly embarks on an aquatic misadventure. Pug lives in a posh townhouse with his child guardian, the equally pampered Lady Miranda, where they gorge themselves on jam tarts and are attended to by footmen. A trip to the lake results in a series of unexpected diversions for Pug (whom Lady Miranda has dressed in a sea captain’s outfit), as he gets separated from his young mistress, helps a team of rowers win a race, and sets sail with another girl. Newcomer James creates a quirky, mixed-up setting (the tale is set in the present day, yet Lady Miranda’s footmen wear powdered wigs and cart her around in a sedan chair), and Ceulemans’s airy pen-and-ink drawings, accented with peach and bright blue, draw out the story’s physical comedy, particularly during a climactic helicopter rescue at the local swimming pool. Ages 6–9. (Mar.)