There’s too little that’s loony in this tale of piratical pantaloon-loving thieves, in spite of its cheery premise and art.
Wearing their undies on the outside of their trousers, the “pants pirates” and their captain seek to locate the ultimate treasure: an underwear-shaped trophy called “the fabled Pants Of Gold.” Their perilous journey takes them to an island where similarly costumed scurvy knaves have already claimed the prize as their own. In a bit of quick thinking, our antiheroes slice through their rivals’ elastic bands, effectively curtailing their pursuit, and the booty is all theirs. A bizarre admonishment to young readers to always check the elasticity of their underwear caps off this subpar fare. If the text is tepid and the art equally unimaginative, the book does distinguish itself with its Briticisms. Originally published in England, the numerous unfamiliar terms for underwear (bloomers and knickers, for instance) make for impenetrable puns. Indeed, the most common name for underwear in this story is the uniquely British “pants”—a phrase that is bound to baffle Yank toddlers, for whom the word has a very different meaning.
Be sure to keep your visit with this undergarment-obsessed pirate crew nice and brief. (Picture book. 4-8)