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.


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!


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…’


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?


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