cover image Victricia Malicia: 
Book-Loving Buccaneer

Victricia Malicia: Book-Loving Buccaneer

Carrie Clickard, illus. by Mark Meyers. Flashlight (IPG, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-936261-12-3

In Clickard’s debut, a pirate tale in verse, heroine Victricia would rather read than swashbuckle. Her bookishness isn’t her only problem; it’s part of a bigger package of nerdy, out-of-place feelings (she makes a shirt that reads “I Heart Dry Land”). To her credit, Clickard takes rhyme and meter seriously, achieving, at her best, a Gilbert and Sullivan–like patter as she imagines the pirates mulling disciplinary measures (“Let’s ground her awhile—” “For a week—” “Maybe two...” “On a boring old island, with nothing to do.” “ ’Twill heighten her gratitude.” “Fix her pirattitude!”). Although Victricia redeems herself, she knows her heart isn’t at sea, opting for a life as a bookseller—and bringing about a career change among her former shipmates, who become “the world’s first seafaring librarians!” In full-bleed spreads, Meyers (the Ballpark Mysteries series) provides lots of pirate detail and even an ironic moment or two (Victricia’s baby cradle mobile features a fish skeleton and a dagger, presumably to encourage early pirate development). Rollicking, sea-chantey verse and slapstick humor make this a promising readaloud. Ages 4–8. (June)