cover image Pirate’s Perfect Pet

Pirate’s Perfect Pet

Beth Ferry, illus. by Matt Myers. Candlewick, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-7288-1

When Captain Crave’s mother sends him a checklist from a pirate magazine, he realizes that he’s missing something important. “Eye patch?” the checklist reads. “Check,” Captain Crave says. “Hook?” “Check it out!” he says, showing it off. “Peg leg?” “On me to-do list.” “Pet?” “Pet?” Captain and crew leave their ship and swarm ashore, startling a beach full of sunbathers: “They caused quite a commotion, as good pirates should.” A master of bubbly, sunshiny, high-spirited spreads, Myers (Cock-a-Doodle-Doo-Bop!) paints the pirates leaping the fence into a farm, storming the zoo (where an encounter with a lion lets Captain Crave cross “peg leg” off his to-do list), and, at last, the pet store. “Shiver me Shih Tzus,” cries the captain. “Thar be piles of pets!” One with colorful feathers draws attention by pooping on his hat. Ferry (Land Shark) fills her yarn with loads of pirate lingo and affectionate pokes at pirate tradition, while Myers’s luscious, thickly painted illustrations look as if they’ve been frosted. Readalouds don’t come much rowdier. Ages 4–8. Author’s agent: Elena Giovinazzo, Pippin Properties. Illustrator’s agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (Aug.)