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Seadogs: An Epic Ocean Operetta Paperback – Picture Book, October 1, 2006
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About the Author
Mark Siegel is the author and illustrator of several award-winning picture books and graphic novels, including To Dance, Moving House, and Sailor Twain. His latest project is the collaborative graphic novel series 5 Worlds, an epic science fiction story for young readers. In addition to writing and illustrating, Mark is also the founder, and creative and editorial director of First Second Books, Macmillan’s graphic novel house. The Siegels live in Tarrytown, New York. Visit Mark at MarkSiegelBooks.com.
- Grade level : 2 - 5
- Item Weight : 6.9 ounces
- Paperback : 40 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781416941033
- ISBN-13 : 978-1416941033
- Dimensions : 9 x 0.2 x 12 inches
- Publisher : Atheneum Books for Young Readers; Reprint edition (October 1, 2006)
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 1416941037
- Reading level : 7 - 10 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,803,322 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The story is told in the presentation of an operetta about a trio of dogs who set sail for adventure and encounter pirates along the way. These are fierce pirates led by Jacques Fifi, "the terrier of the sea, Oh! The terrier of the sea!" The art is wonderful, the writing is crisp and sprightly, and the dialogue and narrative are delightful. I recommend this for all children in the suggested age group of 7-10, especially any children who seem to take delight in tales of pirates and the high seas (and for dog lovers, too)!
A small female pup attends a revue of a show called "Seadogs" with her mother. The time period appears to be mid-Victorian and behind scenes we see the actors and actresses getting reading. When the curtain lifts we are plunged into a whole new world of dogs and ships and sea. An old seadog goes into his favorite pub and mourns the fact that he can no longer go to the ocean he loves. Brave beagle and her companion, a timid but sweet dachshund, cannot cheer him until he vows to buy a seaworthy vessel and take them with him on "one last sail". Off the three go to find adventure on the high seas. All goes well until the ship is plundered by the fearsome Jacques FiFi (the terrier of the sea) who leaves behind a treasure map. With a stowaway pup and a map to guide them adventure, capture, and even more adventure rounds out this solid storytime fare.
The book is innately comic, but I was delighted to find some moments of real tenderness as well. When the seadogs find a pup hidden in a coil of rope, the captain adopts the wayward hound and their songs together are full of tenderness. Mind you, there are plenty of dog puns to pore through here. Jacques Fifi commands a crew known as the Mongrel Hoard. There are framed prints of authors named "Growbert" and "Sulllibone". You get the picture. But the songs are catchy, the illustrations livelly and amusing, and the book a real joy to go through. I once had the pleasure of sharing an elevator with illustrator Mark Siegel (unbeknownst to him) and I can ascertain that though this may be his first book for children, I am certain it will not be his last.
If I have any problems with this book, it's that there wasn't a cd of these songs included. With picture books like "Science Verse", such cds are givens. Not so here. Looks like audiences will have to come up with their own tunes if they want to share in the fun. Still, it's a great little title and perfect reading material for a dark and rainy night.
Reader in Wisconsin
Brave Beagle is a positive, strong female character, and seeing her adventures at sea inspired my daughter to think pirate play was for her. We've since made eye patches and cardboard cutlasses so she can create her own treasure hunt.