Booklist (September 15, 2012 (Vol. 109, No. 2))
Grades K-3. “Arrgh, matey, best beware!” Pirates take the stage in Florian’s latest book of short, rhymed verse. Delighting in the colorful vocabulary of pirate lore and the popular image of piracy, these 19 poems focus on topics such as the code of conduct, food, and weapons of piracy. While history plays a role, the book’s overall tone is comical, with an outlook summed up in pithy, playful lines such as “We’re rude, crude dudes with attitudes. / We’re motley and we’re mean,” and “A pirate’s life is topsy-turvy, / Full of strife and rife with scurvy.” Bold ink drawings, digitally brightened with colors, capture the tone of the writing and add their own witty details. With deft wordplay in the verse and droll comedy in the art, the book is fun to read aloud. Despite a good bit of sword waving and some sticking out of tongues, there’s no more violence here than in a production of The Pirates of Penzance.