cover image This Little Pirate

This Little Pirate

Philemon Sturges, , illus. by Amy Walrod. . Dutton, $16.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-525-46440-2

The team behind The Little Red Hen (Makes a Pizza) offers a comic adaptation of "This Little Piggy," sure to please junior pirates and the older ones who want them to play nice. At the start, two tall ships approach a desert isle from opposite directions, and one porcine pirate crew discovers a treasure: "This little pirate spied the island./ This little pirate saw the rocks./ This little pirate dropped the anchor,/ and this little pirate found the box./ Then this big pirate yelled, 'Yo-ho-ho!/ This box is ours and home we'll go!' " Just then, five more piglets arrive, and their leader calls out, "Yo-ho-ho!/ This box is ours and home you'll go!" In Lord of the Flies fashion, the rivals square off, but after some minor tail-pulling they call a draw. They open the box and find enough craft supplies, snacks and musical instruments to throw together a party. Walrod's distinctive cut-paper illustrations individualize the mischievous girl and boy pirates, who have a range of brown skin tones and wear sailing gear from striped pants and stylish sashes to hoop earrings and polka-dot bandanas. The author and illustrator blur the line between real-life and playtime, and conclude with a bedtime scene of the "pooped pirates"—now friends—climbing into hammocks. With its scavenger hunt and party theme, this could make a terrific sleepover selection. Ages 3-up. (June)