Stinky Spike and the Royal Rescue

Can Stinky Spike sniff out a missing royal pup?

Stinky Spike and Captain Fishbeard are thick as thieves and ready for adventure! That is, until they’re captured! When Princess Petunia offers Spike a chance to find her lost puppy and free Driftwood’s crew, Spike is the top dog for the job. How hard could it be to find one fluffy royal pooch?

Stinky Spike takes center stage in a silly tale that has Stinky Spike and a princess looking for a lost puppy. While Stinky Spike’s love of putrid smells is a unique premise, the dog’s bad body order becomes less humorous as the story progresses. Stinky Spike is clearly the hero of the story, but he doesn’t use investigative skills and there are no clues for mystery-loving fans to follow. Another disappointing aspect of the story is that the pirates do not play a large role in the story’s plot. Despite this, younger readers will still enjoy Stinky Spike’s adventure.

Stinky Spike and the Royal Rescue has fun, brightly-colored illustrations that will tickle readers’ silly bones. Even though the story focuses on animals, the humans that Spike meets a diverse group of pirates. Plus, Princess Petunia has dark hair and brown skin. Stinky Spike and the Royal Rescue is told in three chapters and each two-page spread has 4 to 7 sentences. While early elementary readers will enjoy the story, they may need help with the story’s vocabulary.

Stinky Spike is a unique main character who has very few heroic qualities but still saves the day. The high-interest topic—dogs and pirates—will cause readers to pick up the book while the silly plot, large illustrations, and many animal characters will keep readers interested until the very end. Readers who want to learn more pirate facts should set sail to the library and check out Pirate Pedro by Fran Manushkin.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • Stinky Spike, the princess, and a flock of parrots attack the pirates who have stolen the princess’s puppy. “The flock of seabirds flew at the pirates. They dove after their pirate hats. They pecked at their pirate beards. They clawed at their shiny silver buckles.”

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • King Seabreeze calls the pirates “bumbling buccaneers.”
  • A bear calls Stinky Spike and the princess “troublemakers.”
  • Spike yells at a parrot, “Watch where you’re flying feather-neck.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Catnapped!

Fighting like cats and dogs? Exactly! The puppy pirates played a prank on the kitten pirates and meow! the kittens sure are mad. After an ambush, the kittens capture some of the Salty Bone’s crew. The puppies are able to find their way out of lockup, but how will they escape the ship? Can the pups escape the kittens’ claws? It’s dogs versus cats, and may the best pirates win.

Catnapped shows that even the bravest pirates sometimes feel fear. For instance, Wally is terrified of the water. Despite his fear, Wally jumps to the rescue when his friends need him. While escaping the kittens’ pirate ship, someone drops an oar which floats away. Wally swims in the ocean so he can retrieve the boat’s oar. Without Wally’s bravery, the puppy pirates would have been stranded in the middle of the ocean.

Even though the puppies’ pranks are humorous, the story shows how one prank can cause a host of problems. When Wally and the others finally break free, some of the puppies want to seek revenge. Old Salt gives wise advice, “Consider your next steps carefully, Captain. I just mean, maybe it’s best to end this here. Don’t go looking for more trouble.”

Each book in the Puppy Pirates Series focuses on the same characters while still adding plenty of unexpected action to the story. The black and white illustrations are adorably cute and will also help readers understand the story’s plot. With short chapters, large text, and illustrations every 1 to 5 pages, Catnapped is the perfect book for readers ready for chapter books.

Catnapped takes the feud between cats and dogs and creates an entertaining story that pirate-loving readers will enjoy. Young landlubbers will be eager to find out how the pirate puppies escape the kittens’ claws. With 7+ books in the series, the Puppy Pirates Series has plenty of adventure to entertain readers.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • The kitten pirates ambush the puppies. “The cats were clearly angry, all hisses and claws.” A puppy turns on the sprinklers, and “the kitten pirates panicked and ran toward the trees.”
  • The kitten pirates trick the puppies. “A net fell from the tree, right on top of Wally, Henry, Spike, and Puggly.” The kittens lock them up at the bottom of their ship.
  • As the puppies escape in a dingy, the cats throw hairballs at them.

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • When some of the puppy pirates are kidnapped, the puppies escape by giving the kittens catnip. The kittens “squealed and squeaked and flopped all over the wooden dock. They were out of control.”

Language

  • A kitten pirate calls two pugs “scurrrrrvy dogs.”
  • A puppy calls a group of kittens “hairballs.”
  • A dog says the kittens are “just a bunch of pussycats.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog

Ahoy! When this shipyard pup gets lost at sea, he’s rescued by a crew of stinky pirates led by Captain Fishbeard. Spike must prove to the captain he can be a real pirate. Luckily, Stinky Spike has the best nose on the seven seas, and he uses it to sniff out all kinds of treasure. But what happens when Spike’s sense of smell leads him to some very strange loot?

Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog is a silly story with alliteration, onomonopia, and dialogue that makes the story fun to read out loud. The story focuses on how Spike became the Pirate Dog and the humorous, unexpected characters he meets along the way. For example, when Spike was lost at sea, he meets two sharks that don’t want to eat him. The sharks just want Spike to go away because “you stink so bad that you’ll scare away our dinner.” Even though much of the humor comes from all the terrible things Spike smells, readers will also enjoy all of the animals and people Spike meets.

The entertaining story has wonderful, brightly colored illustrations that will tickle readers’ silly bones. Even though the story focuses on animals, Spike also meets a small but diverse group of pirates. The large illustrations add comedy to the story by adding little surprises, like the pirate captain with a peg leg, a parrot on his hat, and fish sticking out of his beard. Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog is told in three chapters; each two-page spread has 4 to 7 sentences.

Fans of the Pirate Puppies Series by Erin Soderberg will quickly fall in love with Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog. While the story lacks pirate language, its humor and unexpected surprises will entertain readers. Plus, the story could lead to a fun discussion on what people and pirates consider to be treasure. If you’re looking for a fun story that your little reader will love, Stinky Spike the Pirate Dog has plenty of treasure inside its pages including interesting characters, humor, and detailed illustrations. Readers who want to read more imaginative pirate stories should also read All Paws on Deck by Jessica Young.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • While protecting a ship’s cargo, “a group of angry gulls began squawking and swooping and pecking at Spike.”
  • As the seagulls chased Spike, he fell into the ocean. “Spike doggy-paddled toward shore, but the strong current pulled him out to sea.”
  • While lost at sea, “hungry sharks swam slow circles around him.”

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

 

 

 

X Marks the Spot

Wally and the puppy pirates are hunting for buried treasure! Legend has it that a famous old sea captain, Growlin’ Grace, hid pirate booty on Boneyard Island, and Wally and his friends have a map to find it! Land ho! Can the pups follow the trail and sniff out the treasure?

Wally, Henry, and the pups take center stage in X Marks the Spot. As they follow the treasure map, they have to use their skills to avoid booby traps. Several times, they save Captain Reb Beard and the other puppy pirates. Readers will enjoy the funny interaction between the pups and the fast-paced action as the puppies explore Boneyard Island.

Most of the pirates believe that the treasure will be gold and jewels. However, when they find Growlin’ Grace’s treasure, they find her map collection which is special because “they reminded her of her greatest adventures with her crew.” When the pirate puppies take the treasure, the island dogs are upset others won’t visit their island. So Captain Reb Beard and his crew leave treasure, which consists of things that were special to each individual puppy. Through the puppy’s experiences, the reader will learn that treasure doesn’t have to be gold and gems. Instead, “the best treasure any pirate can hope for is the promise of more adventure.”

Readers will love following the clues to find buried treasure and seeing Wally and his friends use some creative solutions. The story doesn’t use as much pirate language as the first book in the series, however, the book is still entertaining.

Even though X Marks the Spot is part of a series, the book can be read as a stand-alone. The black and white illustrations are adorably cute and will also help readers understand the story’s plot. With short chapters, large text, and illustrations every 1 to 5 pages, X Marks the Spot is a great book for readers ready for chapter books. Readers who want more dog-related pirate fun should read All Paws on Deck by Jessica Young.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • While trying to find treasure, Captain Reb Beard and his crew get trapped. One puppy says, “When he saw a big, meaty pile of bones, he pounced. But the bones were bait for a booby trap! We all got scooped up into the net.”

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • When Captain Reb Beard finds puppies spying on him, he calls them “scurvy dogs.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Stowaway!

When Wally meets a band of puppy pirates, he wants more than anything to join them. He knows that puppy pirates are very tough and very brave. Even though he doesn’t always feel brave, Wally is determined to find out if he has what it takes to become a full-fledged puppy pirate. But when he stows away in a pirate ship, he finds out that he’s not the only one hiding. A friendly boy named Henry has also stowed away on the ship. The two promise to help each other. Will the two new friends be able to convince the ship’s captain that they are brave enough to be a pirate?

The front cover art shows an adorable picture of a pirate puppy, which will draw readers to the book. Nevertheless, the story’s plot is full of humor and suspense that will keep readers engaged until the very end. In a series of tests, both Wally and Henry prove that they can be useful to the ship’s crew. And with the help of Old Salt, an older pirate, Wally is able to be brave.

Younger readers will understand Wally’s desire to find a home and cheer for him as he makes friends with the boy and the pirates. Even though Wally is often scared, he still finds a way to complete difficult tasks. There are no other humans on the ship, but Wally stands up for Henry and the ship’s captain allows the boy to remain on the ship. The exciting conclusion has a riddle, kitten pirates, and a funny conflict.

Stowaway is pure pirate fun that will entertain readers who dream of adventure. The black and white illustrations are adorably cute and will also help readers understand the story’s plot. With short chapters, large text, and illustrations every 1 to 5 pages, Stowaway is the perfect book for readers ready for chapter books. Young landlubbers will be eager to read the swashbuckling tale of Wally and the Salty Bone’s crew. With 6+ books in the series, the Puppy Pirates Series has plenty of adventure to entertain readers.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • In order to get the kitten pirates to sail away, the dogs trick them. “The puppy pirates’ cannon blasted out a powerful shot of water. It arched up into the air between the two ships, and then it rained down on the kitten pirates. The kittens all shrieked and hissed and ran for cover.”

 Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

 

Language

  • There’s some infrequent pirate name-calling such as scallywag, landlubber, and lazy bum.
  • The kitten captain calls a dog pirate a fleabag.
  • When the captain finds a stowaway, he says, “This is unpoopitable!”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

 

Pugs and Kisses

Ana Ramos has always wanted a dog of her own, but her mother has a no pet rule. That’s one of the reasons Ana is happy to walk her neighbor’s adorable pug, Osito. When Ana takes Osito to the park, Osito befriends another pug, whose owner is a cute boy named Calvin. When Calvin assumes that Osito belongs to Ana, she doesn’t correct him. After all, Ana probably won’t see Calvin again.

Then Calvin enrolls in Ana’s school and they have several classes together. When Calvin suggests setting up playdates for the two pugs, Ana pretends that Osito is her dog. Soon, Ana discovers that she’s telling lies to cover up the fact that she lied about Osito. As time goes by, Ana’s lies increase, and she’s using both her best friend and her sister to help keep her secret. Ana wants to fess up about her lies, but she’s afraid of Calvin’s reaction. How is Ana ever going to get out of this mess?

Ana and Calvin meet at the dog park and bond over their love of pugs. Even though Pugs and Kisses uses the traditional romantic movie formula, younger readers will enjoy the sweet story of Ana’s first crush. Middle graders will understand Ana’s confusion when it comes to her feelings for Calvin. When Calvin invites her over to his house for dinner, Ana isn’t sure if going to his house is a “date” or just two friends hanging out. One positive aspect of Ana’s crush on Calvin is that both Ana and Calvin are smart and do not try to hide their love of academics.

The story hits on topics that are important to middle graders: friendship, families, and crushes. Ana is an imperfect character that readers will be able to relate to. Ana is often frustrated with her family, worries about school, and wonders about her emerging feelings for Calvin. However, the story doesn’t just focus on Ana’s family and Calvin. Another positive aspect of Pugs and Kisses is that Ana’s Puerto Rican heritage is naturally integrated into the story. Readers will learn facts about Ana’s sister’s quinceañera and her neighborhood.

Despite the predictable plot, the pugs and cute awkward moments will appeal to younger readers. Pugs and Kisses will entertain readers who aren’t ready to read longer books such as The Selection series by Kiera Cass. Readers who want a light romance with more action should read the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter.

Sexual Content

  • At her sister’s quinceañera, Ana is so excited that Calvin forgave her that “without stopping to think, I stood up on my tiptoes and give him a kiss. My first kiss. He looked a little surprised when I pulled away, but he was smiling.”
  • After kissing Calvin, Ana says, “I can’t believe I kissed you.” Calvin replies, “I’m glad you did.” Then he put a hand on Ana’s waist and “pulled me even closer to him, and then he kissed me again.”

Violence

  • None

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • Dang is used twice. When Ana asks a boy to her sister’s quinceañera, Ana’s friend says, “Dang girl, I’m impressed.”
  • Darn is used three times. Ana says, “Darn right, I didn’t choose the pug life. The pug life chose me.”
  • Crappy is used once. When her friend’s dog runs off, Ana thinks, “How dare they keep going after their crappy fencing-in job had led to Pancake getting out?”
  • When Ana says something insensitive and upsets her sister, Ana thinks, “I felt like a jerk.”
  • Ana realizes that she’s been preoccupied and didn’t help her neighbor enough, so she says, “I’ve been an idiot.”

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

Wallace and Grace and the Lost Puppy

Wallace and Grace, best friends and partners in the Night Owl Detective Agency, stumble upon a lost puppy. In an effort to get the puppy home, Wallace and Grace must follow the clues to find out where the puppy lives. With the help of his new friends, the puppy learns about forest animals.

Younger readers will love reading the story of Wallace and Grace. Cute, charming pictures bring the forest alive. The story is engaging and teaches new vocabulary because Grace uses “very big words” and then explains what they mean. The story teaches problem-solving skills and has a lesson at the end: some things are more important than winning.

Sexual Content

  • None

Violence

  • None

Drugs and Alcohol

  • None

Language

  • None

Supernatural

  • None

Spiritual Content

  • None

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