The Book Corner: A review of ‘Captain Pug – The Dog who sailed the Seas’, by Laura James.

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Children’s Book Review: ‘Captain Pug – The Dog who sailed the Seas’, by Laura James.

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“It was an ordinary morning at Number 10, The Crescent, and everyone was busy except Pug and his freckled companion, Lady Miranda, who were both still in bed, snoring.”

We were recently asked if we would like to review a new children’s book. I asked my two older ones if they would like to help me with it and they jumped at the chance, so here is our review of this super little tail, sorry tale, for you all!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed the book!


 The book is written by Laura James. It is the first book in her ‘Adventures of Pug’ series, with her second story due out in January 2017 which shall be called, ‘Cowboy Pug’ – I think it is pretty self explanatory what this next story is going to be about!

Intended for children, I would say between the ages of 5 and 8, this story tells the tale of a lovable little Pug dog called, well, Pug. It takes us on an adventure (he ends up having a bit of a ‘ruff’ time – get it? Ruff? Rough? Never mind…) on the open seas (and a canal, a river and a lake!) as we follow Pug on a quest to be reunited with his owner who he manages to loose because he is a little too eager to scoff his chops with some delicious treats from a picnic basket, which he then falls into. A fate I am sure I would also suffer if I were a dog! Who can resist a picnic basket or a Jam Tart?!

It turns out that Pug, whose owner, Miss Miranda, has given the duty of boat Captain to for the day, is scared of water. A bit of an issue when you’re being expected to be in charge of a boat! As the story progresses, we see Pug overcome his fears (with the help of comfort eating – again, I can totally relate to this little dog!) in order to be reunited with Miss Miranda once again. It’s cute, funny, silly and beautifully illustrated by, Eglantine Ceulemans.

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It’s a very funny book, my kids laughed at numerous points, which moves at pace so the children’s interest isn’t lost. Despite the book being quite long, 124 pages, the text is large, it doesn’t fill every page and there are drawings on each page to look at so, don’t be put off by the number of pages if you were choosing it for a younger reader. My middle one (who is 6) loved that there were 124 pages because he felt like he had actually read a ‘proper book’ rather than a thin one with only a handful of pages. It looks and feels like a ‘grown up book’ as he told me and this definitely encouraged him to want to read it.

“Pug gave a little jam tart burp. A captain? Captains were in charge of great big ships and away at sea for weeks on end. Pug preferred to stay at home”.

There is a lot going on in the illustrations so even once you have finished the book, it is lovely to go back over the pictures again and talk about what is happening in them. This is a great way to get children to engage more with the book and to really get their imagination going, as well as improving their understanding of the written text.

As a parent, I really loved this book and I am sure once the new one is finished, the boys will want to read that one too. The adventures this little Pug can end up going on are endless!


 The opinions of my two eldest boys on the book!

1 – Who is your favourite character in the book?

Pug! He is really cute and a bit silly. I like that he is scared of the water but that he becomes braver and has a go at being a captain.

2 – What is your favourite part of the story?

When Pug is in charge of the rowing race boat and is barking because he is scared, but the men in the boat don’t know this and just think he is a really good captain, barking to get them to go faster. It made me laugh!

3 – How did the book make you feel?

It made me feel happy because it was funny, sad when he went missing and excited because I wanted to see if he made it back to Miss Miranda, or if he was going to stay missing forever.

4 – What adventure would you choose for Pug to go on?

L – I would choose for Pug to go on a Time Travel adventure back to when there were Dinosaurs!

Z – I would choose for Pug to go on an adventure and become a Fireman for the day.

5 – Do you think your friends would like this book?

Yes! Nearly all our friends like funny books and lots of them like dogs and so I think they would like to read this book.

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 We hope you enjoyed our review of ‘Captain Pug – The Dog who sailed the Seas’.

I am sure that after reading this book, your little ones could be spurred on to write their own ‘Adventures of Pug’. Or maybe a different character that they have made up themselves!

If you would like to get your hands on a copy for yourselves, you can do so by clicking this link!

It retails at approximately £5.99 on Amazon.

And keep your eyes peeled in January 2017 for the next installment of ‘The Adventures of Pug’…

Gem & boys.x

Disclaimer: I was sent this book for free for the purposes of this review. I was not paid for the review. All opinions, thoughts and words are my own (or my children’s!).

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2 Comments

  1. July 7, 2016 / 4:35 pm

    That’s lovely! Great that you actually road tested it on some live children and that you didn’t have to bribe them with doughnuts or anything.
    The pictures look great, I think my grandson would like it when he is a bit older. Mind you, I think old Pug needs to do a Competent Crew course and a Navigation course before he can be let loose on any sort of vessel……
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  2. admin
    July 7, 2016 / 4:39 pm

    Haha! He’s definitely not a sea dog is he!! It is a very funny book, silly but funny and that’s a winning combo where kids are concerned!
    It’s hard in this digital age to get kids to sit down and read instead of getting on an iPad or watching a movie but luckily, mine seem to be quite keen to read now. Let’s hope it stays that way! Xx

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