In upbeat, rhyming verse, Bardhan-Quallen presents the rollicking adventures of a princess-turned-pirate.
Princess Bea is not your typical princess. Instead of longing for a happily-ever-after in the arms of Prince Charming, she yearns for a swashbuckling life on the high seas. One day, spying a pirate ship, she seizes the chance to make her dreams come true. To her dismay, Captain Jack assigns her deck-swabbing, cooking and, finally, lookout duties, and she fails spectacularly at all of them (especially the last, in which her failure involves puking and further fouling the deck she never successfully swabbed in the first place). Her fate is sealed. Unless determined Bea can come up with another way to make herself indispensable to the crew, she must walk the plank. The deft, engaging verse interspersed with pirate lingo is complemented neatly by McElmurry’s precise and detailed illustrations. Establishing the feel of an old-fashioned fairy tale with some madcap modern twists, her dramatizations cast the pirates as peculiar and slightly intimidating rather than menacing, and bespectacled Bea as clumsy, quirky and full of pluck.
A winning combination of smart and silly, this yarn will make a welcome addition to princess and pirate storytimes, as well as a good choice for one-on-one sharing. (Picture book. 4-8)