Pirate vs. Pirate: The Terrific Tale of a Big, Blustery Maritime Match

Mary Quattlebaum, illus. by Alexandra Boiger, Disney-Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-2201-2
What happens when two of the fiercest pirates in the world—Bad Bart, a portly, bearded scoundrel with a hat that doubles as a candelabra, and Mean Mo, whose long blond hair complements her snub nose and snaggly teeth—find they can't out-insult, out-swim, out-throw, or out-treasure each other? (They turn out to have exactly 1,953 pieces of treasure each.) Most uncharacteristically for pirates, they're stymied. Bad Bart, filled with admiration for his former adversary, presents her with a tiara. "This be a little gift," he says. She gives him a jeweled belt. "This be a present from me," she says. It gets soppier, but thankfully, they're pirates, so their words of love ("Yer nose be red as a ruby, me little treasure") are just as entertaining as their earlier epithets of "Bilge rat" and "Sea skunk." Boiger's (The Monster Princess) extravagant spreads are filled with billowy curves—foamy waves, full sails, and the bellies of Bad Bart's henchmen. Their romantic aesthetic, as a counterpoint to Quattlebaum's (Winter Friends) piratical hijinks, is central to the story's charm. An all-around winner. Ages 4–8. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/17/2011
Release date: 03/01/2011
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