Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of zzzzzz.
Half-Pint Pete sails the Seven Seas in search of treasure. Trouble is, Pete only has half a map to his name. When he comes in contact with the equally piratical Half-Baked Belle, a lass in possession of the map’s missing parts, the two decide to team up and find the treasure together. Pete’s plan to do away with Belle after the gold is uncovered flies out the window when the mission ends successfully and Pete discovers that the two of them make a perfect pair. Bardhan-Quallen presents a perfunctory, if well-scanned, series of alternating rhymes. Children with either a love or a fear of grungy pirates will find that this uniformly cheery, peg-legged crew are a far cry from the murderous plunderers of lore. The art is of a bit more interest. Brazilian illustrator Valério takes care to hide sly details in his colorful, preschool-friendly acrylics (though one wonders why precisely Valério absolutely had to make Pirate Belle so very pink, right down to her rose-colored eye patch). There are many pirate books out there that would best this one in terms of writing, art and general lawless glee, but this meets all the general requirements of an innocuous pirate tale for younger children.
Serviceable and forgettable. (Picture book. 3-5)