Basic instructions for young landlubbers with a yen to go buccaneering.
The book opens with a spread of onboard jobs from captain to cabin boy (the carpenter, for instance, “can chop off a gangreney leg and carve you a wooden one!”). Following this, painted views of ships, typical gear, and scurvy knaves—all hung about with labels and a scanty assortment of flaps to lift—present overviews of pirate garb, cuisine, weaponry, legends, and even, beneath a display of treasure chests, types of historical loot from gold to sugar. References to work-related injuries and a double-page spread of assorted pirate weaponry are as explicit as the piratical violence gets, and such savvy advice as “If your hardtack is full or worms, try eating it in the dark” will be helpful on shore as well as at sea. But despite the presence of Ching Shih and some other women in the closing pop-up rogues’ gallery, plus a deft early reference to “able-bodied sailors” (instead of “seamen”), repeated references to “wenches” elsewhere send up a less inviting flag.
Too bland and thin in both content and special effects to be particularly seaworthy. (Informational pop-up book. 7-10)