Yo ho ho, it’s an alphabetical parade of pirates—by name!
These 26 cleverly illustrated and unexpected rhyming name choices are bound to tickle readers’ timbers. “Pirate ARTY. First to the party. // Pirate BRAD. Born to be bad.” Each pirate receives a full-page portrait that depicts him (they are all boys) engaged in the behavior described. Pirate Lee, who needs to pee, quivers outside the head, hands over his crotch. Pirate Quaid, who is not afraid, nevertheless looks a little dubious as giant octopus tentacles loom. Pirate Tony, who is fall of baloney, happily munches a sandwich. And so on. The illustrations of construction paper, charcoal and colored pencils have a collage effect with comic exaggeration. Silent, clothed frogs that add to the humor appear with the named pirates on every page, brawling, cheering, laughing and gasping as circumstances demand. The final two pages depict all 26 pirates together on a boat, allowing readers to revisit them all and guess who is who. Horowitz mined the same abecedarian vein in his Twenty-Six Princesses (2008), so it’s probably fitting that these pirates are all boys. Despite the lack of gender diversity, though, these little-boy buccaneers display a nice range of skin colors and hair textures.
Aye mateys, heave-ho with this bounty of pirate silliness. (Picture book. 5-8)