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PIRATE GIRL by Cornelia Funke


by Cornelia Funke & illustrated by Kerstin Meyer & translated by Chantal Wright

Age Range: 3 - 6

Pub Date: June 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-439-71672-1
Publisher: Chicken House/Scholastic

In this well-translated humorous turnabout from the author of The Princess Knight (2004), similar themes of female strength and empowerment come through protagonist, Molly, a little girl in her own sailboat who’s kidnapped by pirates. Forced to peel potatoes, patch the sails and scrub the deck, Molly refuses to give her parents’ names and address for a ransom note and cleverly outsmarts the ruffian Captain Firebeard and his fearsome crew. She secretly carries out a plan to communicate with her family through messages tucked into several empty bottles tossed into the sea. When her plan is discovered by mate Morgan O’Meany, and she’s about to be fed to the sharks, the dreaded Barbarous Bertha, a pirate, who just happens to be Molly’s mom, comes cruising in, surprising Captain Firebeard and his petrified bunch. Tables turned, the Firebeard buccaneers are now prisoners of their own game, scrubbing the deck and polishing Bertha’s boots 14 times a week. Meyer’s bright, droll mixed-media pen-and-ink paintings of bushy bearded, scruffy, pot-bellied males countered by a voluminous slightly grotesque matriarch with her buxom throng add to the amusing comeuppance. (Picture book. 3-6)