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The History of Maritime Piracy

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


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Books for Young Pirates

  Caover Art: Captain Monty
        Takes the Plunge
Captain Monty Takes the Plunge
By Jennifer Mook-Sang
Illustrated by Liz Starin
Kids Can Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-77138-626-5, US $16.99 / CAN $18.99
Ebook ISBN 978-1-77138-956-3, US $9.99 / CAN $9.99

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The most feared pirate sailing the seas is Captain Monty the Malodorous. He’s brave and bold and an expert swordsman. There’s just one problem. He can’t swim, which is why he doesn’t bathe. (He claims no self-respecting pirate would even think of doing so, even though his crew regularly takes baths.) No one seems to mind much until Captain Monty falls in love with a mermaid named Meg. As much as she likes him, she refuses to go out with him because he stinks!

Her rejection depresses Captain Monty so much that he keeps to himself and refuses to hunt for treasure or attack other ships. He mopes around so much that he doesn’t even realize his crew has gone ashore until he needs their help. An octopus has attacked Meg and dragged deep into the sea. Captain Monty can’t forsake his beautiful Meg. He must save her, even though it means he must jump into the ocean.

This is a delightfully refreshing tale that is sure to please pirate and animal fans alike. Captain Monty is a fox, and his crew is comprised of an otter, an elephant, a rabbit, a parrot, and a bear. When he takes the plunge, he puts himself at risk and thinks of an inventive way of to save Meg. Rather than using the common “Arrrr!”, he says “Yar-har-har!” – which sounds far more piratical – and although the author keeps within the boundaries of common pirate lore, she steers clear of clichés. The artwork is equally captivating and colorful. It also includes tiny details readers might overlook the first time through. (For example, watch for the flying pig. He’s not where you’d expect.) At times humorous, the illustrator always captures the emotion in the scene. Captain Monty Takes the Plunge is a great way of teaching young pirates that some risks are worth taking and anything is possible if you just try.

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Book Review Copyright ©2017 Cindy Vallar


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