Salty Dogs

The Salty Dogs are a group of canine pirates who have fallen on hard times. Remembering some long-ago buried treasure, the crew set out on an adventurous quest to bring home the booty. However, first they must use all their canine cunning to outwit their pirate foes, including the Feathered Furies, the Crazy Horn Gang and the toughest of them all, the Sea Monkeys.

Salty Dogs is a typical pirate tale with a dangerous treasure hunt and plenty of splashy battles along the way. Each Salty Dog represents a different breed and displays some of the characteristics associated with this, such as Horatio Pawsworth III, the vain and preening dog-show champion Shih Tzu and Barker, the strong and dependable Bulldog. Refreshingly, the pirate captain is a pink poodle called Fifi whose gender is never referred to and who is as brave and resourceful as any pirate could ever be.

This is a highly visually stimulating picturebook from illustrator and author Matty Long, who has had previous success with the vibrant Super Happy Magic Forest. Every page is vividly coloured and full of little details that repay a second reading. The story is told through a combination of narrative text and speech bubbles, which can sometimes pose a challenge when reading a book aloud. However, this was not the case for the Salty Dogs as my young co-reader thrilled to every salty word.