Using the same blustery pirate slang and vintage-style artwork that propelled A Pirate's Guide to First Grade, Preller and Ruth transform a school playground into a swashbuckling adventure featuring two rival captains--Red (from the previous book) and fearsome Molly. Their respective pirate crews are again rendered in pencil, creating a ghostly effect, and their surly theatrics will pull readers through this nautical fantasy. "Don't scowl so, sweet Red!" Molly tells Red after his crew mutinies. "We're just having a little yo ho ho." Preller and Ruth put kids at the helm as they communicate the joy of escaping into a world of pretend. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC
PreS-Gr 2--Swashbuckling sketches of ships, pirates, and parrots abound in this homage to pretend play. Molly and Red captain two unruly bands of rapscallions, and when they face off on the high seas, Red orders a siege. His lackluster scallywags mutiny because they have "no stomach for swordplay." Molly's mates help them tie up the howling Red and send him out to sea. When the bell rings and the spell of their pirate adventure starts to unravel, Molly graciously releases his imaginary ropes and promises more adventures tomorrow. A final scene of them reading together shows their pirate crews peering curiously over their shoulders. Ruth's illustrations expertly convey a fantasy pirate world in line drawings, while the children and the schoolyard are shown in full color. Regrettably, the story lacks enough interesting conflict to propel the plot and the resolution feels forced. Preller misses the opportunity for genuinely funny pirate dialogue and situational comedy in favor of interjecting numerous "Arrr's" and "Aye's." The glossary, called "Homework! A Pirate's Vocabulary," will make this a suitable addition to a school lesson or display, but the book may leave many readers feeling like it was all "blimey" and no booty.--Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, OH[Page 96]. (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.