Like a block party but with significantly more eye patches.
When preparing to host the scurviest knaves ever to sail the seven seas, snacks are a must. It’s summertime, and all the neighborhood kids are playing pirate. There are the Johnson brothers (Bluebeard, Blackbeard, and Beigebeard), Sharktooth Jane, Eye Patch Sue, Cap’n Gunderboon, and party host Peg Leg Jones. Soon he’s been boarded, and his guests are plundering his chest, shooting missiles, and causing general havoc. Their behavior does not go unnoticed, however, and soon, Peg Leg’s mom sails over to enforce some cleanliness. The art seamlessly melts from reality to fantasy, showing keen holes in the latter when things get a bit wild at the jamboree, revealing the ship to be a bed and the treasure to be toys. As in a William Joyce book, Teague sets his tale in a distinctly idealized, if not downright archaic, suburbia. Beneath the piratical veneer, a man in a suit glares disapprovingly as he heads off to work, and a broom-wielding mom in an apron tells the children to clean their rooms. There’s some racial diversity (the Johnson brothers are black), but for the most part it’s a throwback title thrown a little too far back.
With a little more chaos and a little less nostalgia, this could have been an arrr-guably great book. (Picture book. 3-6)