Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Captain Pugwash by John Ryan (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)

The grandaddy of all children's pirate books, John Ryan's timeless classic "Captain Pugwash" is coming in a new reprint series from Frances Lincoln Books...

Parents of a certain generation will know Captain Pugwash, and will no doubt have tittered at the various urban legends surrounding the 'dodgy' names in the stories when they were originally published (I'm not sure where those urban legends stemmed from, but they're completely untrue anyway!).

John Ryan's Captain Pugwash tales could arguably be seen as the template for a zillion and one other children's pirate tales, following on from the original stories being released as a comic strip in the mighty "Eagle" Comic way way back in the mists of time.

John's stories were swiftly translated into Children's books, spawned three TV series (and I'm sure most of you will remember the awesome 70s version with its lovely retro cut-out animation style) and now a whole new generation of children can catch up with the stories as the books are reprinted.

Here's the first tale, introducing us to the faint-hearted but thoroughly good egg Captain Pugwash, his lazy good-for-nothing crew, and Tom (yes, TOM!) the Cabin Boy who is the real genius on board The Black Pig, Captain Pugwash's sturdy ship.

Captain Pugwash isn't the most successful pirate on the seven seas but there's only one thing he truly fears. A rival pirate with a black mood to match his black beard, the nefarious Cut-Throat Jake!

When Tom spies a ship drifting off the starboard bow, Captain Pugwash decides to recklessly dash off and explore, and nab some treasure from the stricken vessel's hoards. Alas, the ship is not all it seems and Captain Pugwash is walking right into a trap - a trap laid by Cut-Throat Jake!

Will Pugwash live to fight another day, or is a long drop off a short plank the end of Captain Pugwash's buccaneer career?

This is a delightful pirate tale and it's so easy to see how many, many children's authors were influenced by these stories before writing their own pirate tales. Seeing them reprinted in this way is wonderful, so glad to see the good captain set sail once again!

Charlotte's favourite bit: Tense and exciting as Cut-Throat Jake finally captures Pugwash and makes him walk the plank! EEK!

Daddy's favourite bit: Happy memories of the TV show, lovely to see the original stories reprinted like this, they're utterly fab and timeless!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Frances Lincoln children's Books)

"Captain Pugwash"

Written and Illustrated by John Ryan

Published by Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Release Date: 6th August 2015

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