LGB reviews – The Sailor Dog

the sailor dog jennitalula

Title: The Sailor Dog
Author: Margaret Wise Brown
Illustrator: Garth Williams
Collected in the Bedtime Stories treasury.

My all time favourite Little Golden Book. I had to start with the best I’m afraid, I just couldn’t resist

My memories of this book are just of reading it again and again and again. I love the look of the pictures, the lushness of Scuppers’s fur, the strangeness of his story and the satisfying ending with the song.

Overall story: Scuppers was born at sea and after growing up on a farm wants to go back to sea. He finds a lot of different land and air based travel options and turns them all down before he finds a boat and he gets on the boat. He is shipwrecked in a storm, makes a house on the beach and then mends his ship.

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He sails to a foreign land, buys new supplies and then goes back to sea. The buying supplies page is amazing because there’s suddenly this massive wall of text but it’s all a list of good and bad things you can find in the picture. I really love Scuppers’ new pith helmet, but the shoes are just terrible. Poor choice of shoes Scuppers!

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And why does this clothing shop sell oranges?

Real message: Follow your dreams! You can be a sailor dog! You can mend the boat! The smoke goes up the chimney! Well… yes, I’d say this is a story about being true to yourself and following your heart.

Best line: Get a load of this bad boy from ‘And went down below…’

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Yep, it’s all one long run on sentence about how everything has a place. Now that’s writing!

Best page is this one where Scuppers makes his house. It just is. I mean, look at the intricate details of the house, and you can plainly see the brick chimney with the smoke going up it. Doesn’t it just make you want to take a toolbox down to the beach and build a drift wood house? No? Just me then?

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In conclusion the writing is totally atrocious but the illustrations are endearing, how much do you want to moosh his belly in the picture where he’s sleeping? So much.

Rating 5 out of 5 sailboats. Scuppers is a fantastic hero who rises above clunky writing, aided by the most excellent illustrations and continues to fill my heart with joy and a desire to go to sea. Plus there’s lyrics to a song at the end which I always sing in my head to ‘popeye the sailor man’

I’m Scuppers the sailor dog
I’m Scuppers the sailor dog
I can sail in a gale
Right over a whale
Under Full Sail
In a fog

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