A petless pirate goes on a mission to secure an ideal companion.
When the fearless Capt. Crave fills out the “Think you’re the Perfect Pirate Captain?” quiz his mother sends by bottle, he finds he meets most of the requirements, save “Pet.” (The disability stereotypes “Eye patch,” “Hook,” and “Peg leg” are also criteria.) Consequently, he and his intrepid, diverse crew set forth to find an animal of superior caliber. (Crave is white, his mate is a black woman, and one masculine-looking white pirate wears a pink bathrobe and bunny slippers throughout.) Always making a commotion (“as good pirates should”) wherever they go, they storm a beach, raid a farm, and invade a zoo. Alas, there are lots of animals to discover, but each one is seriously flawed—if not actively aggressive. Ears are pinched. Pants are eaten. Limbs are devoured (fulfilling the “Peg leg” on Crave’s “to-do list”). Fortunately, when the pirates finally visit a pet store, it’s a naughty bird inside that proves to be the perfect captain companion. Rife with buccaneer-speak and salty seadog sentences, Ferry’s text uses repetition to its greatest advantage. Meanwhile, Myers’ thick acrylic and oil paints render both buccaneers and beasts in an attractive angular style while also hiding a multitude of tiny details (keep an eye at all times on the expressive skull on the captain’s hat).
As Capt. Crave says, “Shiver me Shih Tzus!” There’s some fun here. (Picture book. 4-7)