An impromptu piratical birthday bash is saved at the last minute thanks to quick thinking and ample ugly footwear.
Eddie and his dog, Phil, reside in a happy little seaside community where the denizens’ biggest problem is their cold heads. When the duo’s fishing plans are scuppered thanks to Eddie’s aunt Sue’s insistence that he come to her place to do some chores, they find that this involves throwing a surprise party for her pal Capt. Rugbeard. Each time it looks like Eddie and Phil’s woes are solved, the page will end with a resounding, red, bolded “BUT….” And with each turn of the page, the font of the “But” grows larger and larger in tandem with the story’s tension. A birthday-present misunderstanding yields to a happy ending involving footwear as headwear. The device of ending each page on a cliffhanger has been employed with greater skill and ease in similar titles, yet the sneaky conjunction will provide ample prompts for teachers and parents hoping to spark a bit of creativity in those young charges who will enjoy predicting the nature of each “But.” Hamilton’s accompanying pen, ink and watercolor illustrations give the book the properly madcap air of gentle chaos the storyline requires.
The premise promises more than the delivery, BUT…there’s no denying that this tale of pirate foolishness is great good fun. (Picture book. 3-7)