The titular character is a kind of bony, swashbuckling Miles Gloriosus (yes, he's a real skeleton, albeit one with pants and a pirate hat), who is fond of declaring, "I'll never be beaten!" Which, of course, makes it all the funnier when he gets marooned inside a whale, wondering how he'll get out. Luckily his whale-mate is a clever mermaid, who convinces the Skeleton Pirate to eschew fighting in favor of logic and persuasion--especially since the whale has also swallowed a lot of treasure. In gently spoofing his stock characters, Lucas (The Lying Carpet) offers up clever, brisk prose and dialogue, which should inspire even the most hesitant thespian to let 'er rip. The handsome ink-and-watercolor pictures, rendered with plenty of blood red and marine blue, tip their hat to the incident-filled, epic seafaring tales of yore, while slyly including plenty of winks and nudges. And while Lucas's map of the whale's innards--key to the plot--may not be zoologically correct, from a humor perspective it's right on the money. Ages 3-7. (May)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
K-Gr 2--Beware the Skeleton Pirate, the Terror of the Seas. "I'll never be beaten," he shouts, until one day he is finally tossed overboard. Down, down he travels to the bottom of the sea where he meets a lovely mermaid. But "they didn't notice the Whale. SNAP! GULP." They are in its belly along with a golden ship and chests filled with treasure. Still the Skeleton Pirate insists, "We're not beaten yet!" Thanks to the clever mermaid, who gently suggests that he use his words instead of deeds, the Whale agrees to let them go along with the riches, which have been making the creature feel ill-a happy ending indeed. Whimsical ink and watercolor spreads enhance this farcical tale. Elegantly dressed rogue pirates scamper over the ship wielding weapons, and the skeleton is less than chilling. By far the most striking illustration is the labeled cross-section entitled "The Whale A MAP." Children will delight in this romp, which is a welcome and fresh addition to pirate tales, with no "arrrggghhh's" to be found.--Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH[Page 66]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.