Mongo the monkey is shivering his timbers as Captain No Beard directs his trusty ship into the frigid seas. Despite the cold, his crew delights in an iceberg sighting, until Cayla gets a piece of it stuck to her tongue in a hilarious exchange with first mate Hallie. The splashy illustrations are vibrant with colorful personality, including Fribbet the frog’s moment of panic when they are heading into cold territory and Captain No Beard’s cocky stance while he explains his mission to the crew. A pirate may be loyal, but when the crew discovers Captain No Beard plans to take “something” (eventually, he admits it’s the aurora borealis) home with him, they are very upset. They huddle together in deep discussion about how taking things without permission is wrong. Their conviction to not steal shows kids that it’s OK to stand up to friends who are asking you to do something you feel is wrong. When Hallie finally approaches Captain No Beard and gently asks “What did you want to take home, Captain?” her nonjudgmental approach is a great lesson in reminding kids (and adults!) to get all the facts before reacting. When their beloved captain shows them the aurora borealis, they are all in awe of its beauty, basking in the magnificence of nature. As they discuss the fact that taking the aurora borealis is wrong—plus, he can’t do it anyway because it only works in that particular sky—the crew subtly educates the reader with some facts about the amazing phenomenon. The clever solution to Captain No Beard’s dilemma is creative and fun, showing that sometimes you can get everything you want if you just take a moment to figure things out. The text is filled with the same cleverness that populates all the Captain No Beard books, and the intense loyalty of good friends is heartwarming, even as Roman teaches children about the boundaries of friendship.
A fantastic addition to any young pirate’s library.