Ahoy, mateys; there's one determined young girl aboard this pirate ship.
Victricia Malicia Calamity Barrett comes from a long line of pillagers. Her mother commands the crew, and her father cooks the grub. “Vic,” however, prefers butterfly tattoos and reading. Her inefficiency at basic buccaneering tasks brings unexpected results when a threatening sea serpent appears on deck. Victricia's gumption, her poorly tied lines, and a skull-and-bones towel save her boisterous clan. Her future is clear: The end finds her the proprietor of a bookstore on shore. Her relatives finally support her ambitions, and they spend their time with their noses buried in some books. Vic's personality shines through; the sign on the shop's front door reads “No Pillaging or Plundering Books.” Upbeat rhymes bounce along as Victricia follows her own path. There's some strain felt in the rhyme and scansion. “Her shirt—sewn by hand— / shouted ‘I LOVE DRY LAND.’ / Her landlubber thinking was quite problematic, / Aye, V.M.C. Barrett was most un-piratic.” Mariners will grind their teeth at liberties taken with sailing lingo. Acrylic-and–mixed-media scenes emphasize slapstick and comical expressions to downgrade the pirates' plundering to a benign, lively romp.
Though swelly seas occasionally threaten, overall, it's smooth-enough sailing here. (Picture book. 4-8)