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Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425


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Books for Young Pirates

Battle for the Knotty List                Cap'n McNasty's Pirate Guide

Cover Art: Battle for the Knotty
        List
Battle for the Knotty List
By Michael G. Lewis
Illustrated by Stan Jaskiel
Pelican, 2016, ISBN 978-1455621330, US $16.99

StarStarStarStarStar

Stealing an elf has consequences. After all, an elf is impish and likes to stir up trouble. And they work for Santa, and what pirate wouldnít love to have toys? Too bad Captín McNasty doesnít think through his plan before he acts.

Soon after the pirates capture the elf, he starts talking about the toy shop. Just one problem Ė the lovely toys are only for nice children. And pirates arenít nice. So . . . the only way to become nice is to stage a mutiny!

No matter how hard he fights, Captín McNasty is doomed to fail since heís only one man against a whole crew of reformed pirates. What do pirates do when they overthrow their captain? They cast him adrift in a boat on a sea teeming with sharks. His only hope is to land safely ashore. There are just a few problems. The spot where he lands has only one house. It precariously perches atop a cliff. And the path up is steep, rocky, and slippery from rain. But Captín McNasty has no option. He must ascend the hill to survive. But what lies in wait on the other side of the front door?

When I first read the title of this book for young pirates, I was instantly intrigued. I understood the play on words Ė knotty vs. naughty Ė but didnít know what would happen. I loved this Christmas adventure and its surprise ending. The brilliant, colorful illustrations are reminiscent of the Sunday comics, and the dark ones with the pirates and the bright ones in the toy shop provide great contrast between naughty and nice. The piratesí faces are expressive with no two being alike. Young pirates will enjoy studying each page to see what treasures it holds. Battle for the Knotty List is sure to be a holiday favorite for young and old pirates alike, not only at Christmas but all year long.

 

Book Review Copyright ©2016 Cindy Vallar

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Cover Art: Cap'n McNasty's Pirate Guide
Capín McNastyís Pirate Guide
By Michael G. Lewis
Illustrated by Stan Jaskiel
Pelican, 2020, ISBN 9781455625253, $16.99

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Do you want to be a pirate? Well, youíre in luck! Capín McNasty seeks a crew for the Knotty List. But hurry! Quite a few scoundrels are already lined up on the dock to sign up.

Of course, just wanting to be a pirate is never enough. You need to study and Capín McNasty has just the thing Ė a guide book to help you achieve your dream.

One of the first items to learn is that pirate life is not easy. There are chores galore to attend to from dawn to dusk, but thereís also fun to be had. But the adventure any scalawag craves comes when the search for treasure is afoot.

This delightful tale, the fourth in the Capín McNasty adventures, provides glimpses into a pirateís life at sea, from cleaning the ship to doing the laundry and everything in between. The fun includes bowling with a twist, spinning ghostly yarns or ones about fearsome whales. Verses of four lines that rhyme go hand-in-hand with colorful illustrations of the scurvy scoundrels aboard the Knotty List. Itís almost like touring a haunted house Ė you never know whatís lurking just around the corner. And there are lots of discoveries to be made along the way, such as a pirate juice box, clothes pins with skeleton heads, or an abacus with skulls. The last page contains an authorís note that explains that even pirates need to know how to read and do math if they want to be true scalawags. Sure to be a favorite of all young pirates!



Review Copyrighted ©2020 Cindy Vallar
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