Book Review: Captain Pug

Captain Pug: The Dog Who Sailed the Seas, by Laura James (illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans) is the first in a series of humorous action adventure stories for children. Pug the dog is loyal friend and companion to Lady Miranda, a young girl who lives with her friendly attendants at No. 10, The Crescent. In this story she is invited to a birthday party at a boating lake. Excited by the prospect of a seafaring adventure she declares that she will make Pug a captain. Pug is unsure of his suitability for this role but determines to try his best.

Once at the lake things do not go to plan. Pug is distracted by a picnic basket while Miranda sends her footmen to fetch her a stranded pedalo. Before anyone realises what is happening Pug is being taken away!

With Miranda in hot pursuit the little dog makes some new friends. They take him to a river where he seeks opportunities to learn how to be a captain. Quite unexpectedly he discovers that he can be a useful coxswain, at least until he is distracted by ice cream. From here he travels by canal, sinking along the way, before ending up in the sea.

All ends well after a dramatic rescue. Pug is pleased to be safely home, but Miranda is already thinking of their next adventure.


The story is packed full of fun and frolics, the font and illustrations adding much detail and enjoyment.

A delightful story with its intrepid young girl and her ever hungry companion. The agency and horizons enjoyed by Lady Miranda are sure to ignite any modern young child’s wistful imagination.

Captain Pug is published by Bloomsbury. 


The Corsham Bookshop #BookshopDay

I will be away from home on this year’s National Bookshop Day so sought out an independent bookshop to visit a week early – how organised am I? This high street gem was well worth the journey. And of course, I came away with a new book to read.

Opened in 2002, The Corsham Bookshop is situated in the heart of the eponymous Wiltshire market town. The current proprietor has worked there from the beginning, buying it from the original owner in 2008. As she had previously worked for Waterstones she brought experience to the business.

I visited on a sunny Saturday afternoon and the shop had a steady stream of customers. One child was sitting at the back quietly reading. Another came in with her father who then tried to explain that this wasn’t a library so selections needed to be made with care.

Although relatively small, the stock is carefully curated and attractively displayed. As well as books there are literary gifts available alongside notebooks, cards and wrapping paper. There is also a selection of classical music CDs. I suspect the proprietor knows her customers well.


Our chat was brief but welcoming and friendly. On discovering where I lived she pointed me towards a series of children’s books whose author has recently moved to my village. A quick but careful flick through convinced me that I would enjoy reading these so I purchased the first in the series. I will be reviewing it soon.

Corsham is on the A4, west of Chippenham and east of Bath. If passing through I recommend you pause to admire the pretty little town, and visit its bookshop.

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