Who dares board a most worthy sea vessel when its inhabitants are out? Best be looking for the telltale golden hair.
A piratical Mama, Papa, and Baby sail upon their sloop, a villain every one. Tired of hardtack, Mama attempts some good old-fashioned gruel, but she burns it (cooking’s not really her forte, but she wields a mean cutlass). As they row ashore in their dinghy for fresh water and let the gruel cool off, a lonesome girl follows her nose to the cooling breakfast. Instead of just going through the familiar fairy-tale motions, Goldenlocks fixes up, improves, and generally makes everything better onboard. And when she’s discovered, do the pirates offer her the plank? Nay, she’s given a job as the newest recruit instead! Salerno fills the illustrations chock-full of delightful details, the wind-tousled figures, all evidently white, rendered in jewel tones. The pirates prove a comical foil to the ever savvy Goldenlocks. In upsetting the clumsy-housebreaker trope, the titular heroine is something of a jack-of-all-trades, making her a perfect complement to other STEM-girl heroines. Somewhat less forward-thinking is that it’s Mama pirate who is the cook in the family while peg-legged Papa watches; some stereotypes don’t die.
Arr-guably the best pirate fairy tale to sail the seven storytimes.(glossary) (Picture book. 4-7)