The author opens her story with a vivid rendition of a parched pirate crew that’s stranded near an island without any juice boxes, rivers or ponds to drink from. Crankiness and blaming commence, with Mongo the monkey blaming Hallie, the first mate, for their plight, as she brought a thirsty goat on board who drank more than her share. Mongo and some of the others begin to ridicule the goat, making fun of her name and her unusual odor. Hallie and baby Cayla tell the goat that she’s beautiful, but this doesn’t shield the goat from hurt feelings, and a tear rolls down her furry cheek. Captain No Beard arrives and impartially asks for both sides of the story. (Poor Fribbet the frog is very upset because he doesn’t want to have to choose sides.) Captain No Beard, after offering his signature lament, that “[b]eing a captain is hard work,” climbs down the mast and instructs all of them to say one nice thing about themselves, as well as one thing they don’t like. As the crew members take turns, they begin to understand no one is perfect but that doesn’t detract from how amazing each one is. They also realize that just because someone is different it doesn’t make that individual any less special. Apologies, handshakes, paw-shakes and hoof-shakes ensue, and Roman drives home the lesson when the goat figures out a coconut-y solution to their thirst. The author doesn’t disappoint in her latest pirate tale, once again seamlessly weaving wonderful life lessons for children into a fun adventure story among friends. The illustrations are dynamic and full of emotion, leaping off the pages with their charm, humor and energy. The affection among the crew is evident, even when things get a little heated. Here, Roman’s talent shines, as she shows that friendship is an evolving relationship that ebbs and flows—and flourishes with a little bit of understanding.
Another heartwarming pirate story from Roman.