Reviews for Worse Things Happen at Sea! : A Tale of Pirates, Poison, and Monsters

Booklist Reviews 2013 August #1
Desperate to find a cure for the strange disease afflicting his grandfather, young Arthur and his sidekick, a boxtroll named Fish, hide aboard the Laundry before it sails. They engineer a mutiny, imprisoning the nefarious Archibald Snatcher and his gang, but more challenges lie ahead for the plucky good guys. The second volume of the Ratbridge Chronicles series is as adventurous, amusing, and engaging as its predecessor. On nearly every page, Snow's droll ink drawings depict the action and invented creatures, such as trotting badgers and shopping birds (now rare owing to "blatant consumerism and lack of intelligence"). Great fun for reading aloud. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Spring
In this screwball sequel to Here Be Monsters, the Nautical Laundry's pirates voyage to find the secret ingredient for Black Jollop, a supposed medical panacea. All goes awry when the ship's leadership changes hands. Gross humor, Snow's lively captioned line drawings, clippings from The Ratbridge Gazette, and a deliberately old-fashioned narrative voice will propel readers through the silliness.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 May #1
More cheese-centric shenanigans take the multispecies cast of Here Be Monsters (2006) far from the town of Ratbridge. Faced with a heavy fine for drying their customers' knickers in public, the rat and ex-pirate crew of the Ratbridge Nautical Laundry reluctantly set out for Black Cabbage Island in the South Pacific to fetch the active ingredient of a popular nostrum called Black Jollop. The revelation that Black Jollop infects all who take it with insatiable "cheese lust"--thus casting Ratbridge's population of meek, ambulatory cheeses into mortal danger--turns the voyage into a race against time to bring back the cure. Snow trots in challenges ranging from the previous episode's archvillain Archibald Snatcher and other members of the discredited Ratbridge Cheese Guild to attacks from a rushing horde of "shopping birds." He intersperses his narrative with so many flashbacks, news reports, farcical set pieces (often involving various sorts of glop), small ink drawings, and larger diagrams or maps that the mission takes on a rambling pace. There's foolery aplenty, but this is the sort of sequel that offers more of the same rather than any new twists or developments. (partial cast list) (Fantasy. 11-13) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 August

Gr 4-8--In this follow-up to Here Be Monsters! (S & S, 2006), a mysterious doctor arrives in the town of Ratbridge with Black Jollop, a miraculous substance that appears to cure almost any ailment. Meanwhile, aboard the Nautical Laundry, the ragtag crew of rats and pirates loses a major court case due to an unfortunate underwear incident, racking up a small fortune in fines. Rather serendipitously, the "good doctor" is eager to pay the ship's crew handsomely to find a source for the ingredients in his curative goop. Young Arthur, who sneaks aboard the ship; his grandfather; and their friends discover that Black Jollop is, in fact, a poison that is slowly beginning to infect Ratbridge's citizens with a dangerous cheese obsession. Will Arthur, his friend Fish the boxtroll, and the crew of the Nautical Laundry find an antidote for the cheese lust that is now tearing their village apart? This quirky, fast-paced adventure on the high seas delivers plenty of dry humor and delightfully odd characters. Snow's many detailed illustrations will help connect the dots for struggling readers, aiding them in making sense of the more esoteric maritime vocabulary and allowing them to soar through the book's lengthy page count. Ratbridge newspaper clippings enhance the world-building. Readers who enjoy Lemony Snicket or Roald Dahl will relish this charming and strange story.--Elly Schook, Jamieson Elementary School, Chicago

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