Reviews for No Bath, No Cake! : Polly's Pirate Party

Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
The pirates aboard the Mary Anne are excited to receive Polly's birthday party invitation, and they anticipate sweets and cake. But, according to bossy parrot Pete, they can't go as they are. First, they must bathe, and then replace their ratty togs with "smart" clothes, which sends the crew to town for snazzier duds. And although the buccaneers brainstorm gift ideas--including a saber ("You can give someone a lovely poke in the bottom," says Spoonbelly, demonstrating), a wooden leg, or a cannon--Pete vetoes all of them. He asserts that a doll is an appropriate gift, so it's back to town they go. Finally, the pirates are ready, but at Polly's they discover their efforts are resoundingly unappreciated, and Pete's assumptions about the party are off the mark. This peppy take on out-of-their-comfort-zone pirates gets a boost from a lively text and color-washed, intricate cartoon line drawings. Some of the humor is edgy--Pete is left bound and gagged on the ship mast--and may draw slightly older kids, while the parrot-in-charge premise is amusing. A supplementary pirate picture-book addition. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
After three adult pirates get invited to a girl's birthday party, their parrot schools them in party etiquette (bathe, dress up, etc.). When they arrive at the party squeaky-clean, the girl is enraged by their non-pirate-like appearance. This cheeky book's humor often comes from wordless vignettes--e.g., the parrot's comeuppance is depicted by a cloud emanating fists, stars, and debris.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
This Swiss import may lack the customary "Arrs" and "Mateys" of the pirate genre, but its heart is in the right place. When the pirates of the good ship Mary Anne discover that they've been invited to a little girl's birthday party, they're thrilled. But the beckoning cake and fizzy drinks are waylaid when Pete, the pirate parrot, informs them that they are unfit for civilization. At his insistence, they bathe, buy fine clothes, purchase an appropriate present and wrap it. Weinert's ink-and-watercolor illustrations make the most of the situation, reveling in the pirates' pre-reformation grunge and the absurdity of their cleanup. Canny readers may see where this is going, particularly after the birthday girl proves skeptical of squeaky-clean pirates. Sadly, the pirates' delight is punctured almost entirely by birthday-girl Polly's remarkable rudeness. Not only does she tell them that they look stupid, but the ungrateful little wench tosses their carefully planned present out of her home. What should be a refreshing example of girls who like pirates instead leaves a bad taste in readers' mouths. Though a visual treat, it's only for those who can't get enough yo-ho-hos and bottles of rum. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 March #2

Captain Brummell may be in command of the good ship Mary Anne, but it's really Pete, a yellow parrot with a strong sense of decorum, who pulls the pirate's strings. When Brummell and his crew receive an invitation to a birthday party for a girl named Polly, they're ready to leave on the spot, but Pete is having none of it. "Is that how you think you can go to a birthday party?" he squawks. "Just look at your feet!" If the pirates want birthday cake, they'll have to take a bath--and buy new clothes, purchase a present, and wrap said present before Pete will let them attend the party. Weinert's U.S. debut is an auspicious one; pirates and birthdays are a promising combination to begin with, and when those pirates can be seen frantically running around town in their tighty-whities for several pages, it's a can't-lose situation. The artwork evokes classic European comics like Asterix and The Adventures of Tintin, and the rowdy ending will please readers who, like Polly, would rather receive a cannon than a doll for a birthday gift. Ages 4-8. (Apr.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 April

K-Gr 3--When a group of silly pirates receives an invitation to Polly's birthday party, they're overjoyed with visions of sweets, including cake. As they rush to set sail, Pete, the pirate parrot, informs them about their lack of personal grooming. They are advised to take a bath and buy something "smart" to wear. Humorous illustrations show the zany pirates scrub-a-dubbing in an old wooden tub and then being measured and modeling clothes in a fashion boutique. Just when they think they are ready for the festivities, Pete advises them to bring a wrapped present-sabers, wooden legs, and cannons aren't fit for a little girl. Overjoyed with glee, the curious pirates flee to the party with a doll, only to have their own surprise waiting for them. Readers will giggle over the ridiculous pirate names-Spoonbelly, Hairpin Hairy, etc.-and the loony facial expressions. However, adults may not appreciate the violence Pete experiences because of his misguided advice. He is gagged and tied to a wooden pole, a scene that storytellers might have trouble explaining. Still, paired with Roberta Baker's Olive's Pirate Party (Little, Brown, 2005) and Melinda Long's How I Became a Pirate (Harcourt, 2003), there's some goofy good fun for young pirate wannabes.--Krista Welz, The North Bergen Public Library, NJ

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