Captain Wetbeard, by Bruno Bouchet

‘It looks like lots of fun,’ Dad was trying to get Daniel and Emily excited about their adventure holiday.
‘It sounds lame,’ Emily yawned and looked out of the car window.
‘Don’t use that word, dear, it’s not nice,’ said their mother.
‘W’ever!’ Emily said.

Emily and Daniel are to spend a week at a holiday camp on a ship – the ‘Jolly Roger Pirate Adventure’. They are less thrilled than their parents who will spend the week at a luxury hotel. They arrive at the collection point on a beach and wait. They are collected by a pirate and his crew, but that’s about the only predictable part of their journey. The pirate has bad breath and a dripping wet beard, the parrot is called ‘Duckie’ and has no feathers. Even the crew don’t seem quite right. But Emily (confident and sophisticated) and Daniel (younger and a worrier) do have an adventure, even if it’s not quite the one the brochure led them to expect.

Captain Wetbeard, pirate, has a dicky back and likes to call his crew ‘scurvy brats’. Apart from being a recognisable pirate saying, it means he doesn’t really have to remember any names. He arrives at the beach when Emily and Daniel are due to be collected by Captain Funbeard for their week on ‘Jolly Roger’ and takes them to his ship instead. What follows rocks and rolls much like the ship at sea as Emily and Daniel find themselves in and out of trouble. The main characters in Captain Wetbeard are eleven and nine years old, but this story is likely to appeal to younger readers with its on- and off-board escapades. There’s also a hint in here that fun can sometimes be found in unexpected places. Recommended for mid-primary readers.

Captain Wetbeard (ABC Kids Fiction)

Captain Wetbeard, by Bruno Bouchet ill David Cox
ABC Kids 2008
ISBN: 9780733320705

This book can be purchased from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussireviews.

Lulubelle and her Bones, by Vashti Farrer

Lulubelle is the pampered lapdog of the Duchess of Daftby Dingleby. She has been with the Duchess for so long and been so protected that she believes she is human. But one day, as the Duchess naps, Lulubelle chances upon Bones, a working dog, whose job it is to turn the spit for the Duchess’s roast dinners.

The pair feel an instant attraction and next day Lulubelle frees Bones and together they flee into the countryside.

Life on the road is not easy. Lulubelle is not used to being outdoors and the duo must keep moving to avoid recapture. Along the road, though, help comes from unexpected quarters. Together, Lulubelle and Bones, seem destined for a change in fortunes.

A cute junior novel, Lulubelle and her Bones will appeal to young dog lovers aged 8 to 10.

Lulubelle and her Bones, by Vashti Farrer, illustrated by David Cox
Scholastic, 2003

What a Goat, by Narelle Oliver

Tom has a new goat called Ernie. Ernie doesn’t seem happy until he’s allowed out of his pen to play with the dog.

Together goat and dog have lots of fun – but they also get into loads of trouble. If Tom can’t get Ernie to behave, he might have to give him away. Can Ernie prove he really is a dog-goat?

What a Goat is an easy to read Solo title, from Omnibus books. Written with beginning readers in mind, these books are perfect for the transition from picture books to novels. What a Goat is a fun read.

What a Goat, by Narelle Oliver, illustrated by David Cox
Omnibus Books, 2003