Captain Crankie & Seadog Steve by Vivian French and Alison Bartlett

Captain Crankie & Seadog Steve by Vivian French, illustrated by Alison Bartlett is a new picture book published by independent publishers Little Door Books.


It tells the story of Captain Crankie who lives by the sea and takes visitors out to see the dolphins and seals on his boat the Mary Rose. Crankie and his faithful dog, Seadog Steve live in a picturesque seaside village. The only trouble is the other villagers don’t take care of it as they should and leave their rubbish lying around making it all look rather untidy and messy.

Determined to solve this problem, Crankie and Steve go round the village collecting all the rubbish and think they have found the perfect solution by taking it out on their boat and dropping it into the sea. However, what they don’t realise is that all this rubbish is messing up the home of mermaid Millie who lives at the bottom of the sea.

Crankie, Steve and Millie cook up a plan to solve the rubbish problem once and for all and also help the villagers to think a bit more carefully about their actions.

I adore the colours in this book and I also love the seaside so this is a picture book that I really enjoy reading. Illustrated with a beautiful colour palette of blues, greens and pinks this book is a feast for the eyes. Big thick brush strokes along with collaged images create wonderfully textured seaside scenes.


This a very sweet story that also has a brilliant message to convey about taking care of the planet and the places that we live. Crankie’s plan at the end creates a lovely sense of community within the village and it would be a great book to share when talking about how our actions can have positive or negative effects on those around us. It would also be a great starting point for recycling or upcycling projects.

Vivian French has been writing books for over 25 years, you can find out more on her exciting website here.

You can view more of Alison Bartlett’s beautfiul illustration work here.

You can view more books published by Little Door Books on their website where you can also download songs and an audiobook of Captain Crankie.

Thank you to Little Door Books for sending a copy of Captain Crankie & Seadog Steve for review.

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8 thoughts on “Captain Crankie & Seadog Steve by Vivian French and Alison Bartlett

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  1. This looks lovely. Anything to do with the seaside always makes me smile and it sounds like it has some great messages for young children (and their parents!).


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