by Teresa Bateman; illustrated by Michael Chesworth
What better way to celebrate both Poetry Friday and the grand finale of Sea Week than with a poem about pirates?
Okay, so this book has been out for over a year, but my hubby won't let me give it away. I've tried. He repeatedly fished it out of bags meant first for Katrina victims, my Mommy friends, and a literacy program. It's the book that won't leave.
Using standard-issue quatrains with frequent lapses in meter and rhymes that only occasionally surprise, Bateman still manages to create one of the more memorable buccaneers to prowl the Seven Seas.
Fluffy's a preening poodle captured unawares on his yacht by a shipload of canine brigands. Rather than cower with his tail between his legs, he strikes a fierce pose and insists he's also a pirate, and both the yacht and all his tasty kibble are really loot.
He challenges the burly, bulldog of a captain for his ship, and the two opposites match off in a funny sequence that leaves the growling sea dog, well, out to sea. Fluffy then gives the ship and its flea-bitten crew a makeover, teaching them how a few manners will more easily fill their bellies -- not to mention getting a few good belly rubs.
What am I to make of this? Perhaps inside every ornery cur is a lapdog scratching to come out. Or that scurvy strays need love too. Or that even sporting a big, pink bow in your hat doesn't make you less of a man, er, mutt.
I really don't know. I really don't care. It's fun anyway.