First I must start by saying that I love pirate books and I love silly books. This book is both. It is about a pirate who steals stinky socks from other ships. But one day he comes upon Stinky Annie who is a female pirate with an all female crew. She loves to steal stinky underwear. The two battle it out. I won't give the ending away.
I was okay with this book at first. I was hoping it would be about reforming Dirty Joe the Pirate because his ship stank so badly of dirty socks. But instead a new, even worse character is introduced. And I was disturbed about how she forces people to give her their underwear. This is something a bully would do. Is it okay because she is a girl pirate? What if she were male and forcing the females to give up their underwear? This behavior is NOT okay! Then the final message we receive on the last page is that big sisters are ALL bullies and boys have to put up with that. Sure, this book is all in good fun, but at whose expense?
The illustrations are wonderful, colorful and fun. The verses at times are forced: craft rhyming with laugh, swords with aboard. I wanted to like this book because of its sense of fun, but I could not like the bullying behavior.
Dirty Joe is as mean and wicked as any pirate you could hope to meet, but the treasure he's after isn't gold -- it's dirty socks! He and his crew sail the seven seas with stolen socks hung from their ship, spreading foul odors wherever they roam. No one can beat them...no one, that is, until they meet Stinky Annie and her all-female crew of underwear thieves. Perfect for pirate fans, this "hilarious mishmash" (School Library Journal) of exaggerated art, rambunctious rhyme, and smelly laundry is sure to shiver your timbers and tickle your funny bone.
May 2014 picture books newsletter
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