First published in Spain, this collection features abridged stories by Joseph Conrad, Howard Pyle, Daniel Defoe, and others. Vivid descriptions should capture readers' interest: "Captain Sharkey looked like a corpse. He was thin and balding with filmy blue eyes reddened by hate and sea salt," writes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The Blighting of Sharkey. Tomás matches the grisly, mysterious, and sometimes humorous tone of the stories with gestural pirate caricatures in an appealing inky, graphic-novel style. Selections with supernatural leanings (for example, The Frozen Pirate by W. Clark Russell) and high-action descriptions should especially engage reluctant readers. Ages 9-12. (June)[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC
Gr 5-6--A red sky at night may be a sailor's delight, but for those who long for the scoundrel's life at sea, this book satisfies instead. It's a buccaneer's bounty of tales and artwork sure to appeal to the imagination of wannabe pirates born a couple of centuries too late. The sturdy cover features gold lettering and a skull and crossbones above a cutout framing the smarmy visage of Blackbeard himself. Inside is a treasure trove of abridged yarns by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, and others. Of course the stories deal with pillaging, treachery, and all-around bad behavior on the open seas. The artwork is a dark, graphic-novel-like spin on N.C. Wyeth's illustrations for classics such as Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe. Tomás uses a bold color palette and has given many of his characters angular faces and staring eyes, all to an appropriately menacing effect. This entertaining package will not make port on the shelves for long.--Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR[Page 124]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.