Reviews for Skeleton Pirate

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
The eponymous anti-hero oft repeats, "I'll never be beaten!" But after an undersea adventure with a mermaid (and a whale), the reformed Skeleton Pirate admits to being beaten by love. The story's ending is trite, but Lucas captures the spirit of the high seas in jovial ink and watercolor illustrations.

Kirkus Reviews 2013 April #2
The terror of the seas is not flesh-and-blood; he's all skin-and-bones! Surfing the ocean on a detached hatch, the Skeleton Pirate waves his cutlass and declares, "I'll never be beaten!" He vanquishes a giant patchwork sea serpent, but a full ship's complement of living pirates chains him up and throws him into the briny deep. Luckily, a friendly mermaid with a skeleton key swims by and frees him--but an enormous whale swallows them both. Inside its belly is a huge array of priceless pirate swag, including a golden ship encrusted with jewels. The Skeleton Pirate hatches an escape plan; he and the mermaid travel through the whale's insides to a rounded door right at the ear. Opening it carefully, the Pirate tells the whale all about the booty in his stomach. "No wonder I feel so ill," the whale declares. The Skeleton Pirate says he knows exactly what to do. He and the mermaid load up the golden ship and sail away into the sunset. Dropping to one knee in front of the mermaid, he produces a diamond ring and says, "I think I've been beaten at last." Both Lucas' over-the-top yarn and loopy larger-than-life ink-and-watercolor cartoon illustrations wink at readers while producing one clever surprise after another. Exhilarating pirate fare. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 April #3

The titular character is a kind of bony, swashbuckling Miles Gloriosus (yes, he's a real skeleton, albeit one with pants and a pirate hat), who is fond of declaring, "I'll never be beaten!" Which, of course, makes it all the funnier when he gets marooned inside a whale, wondering how he'll get out. Luckily his whale-mate is a clever mermaid, who convinces the Skeleton Pirate to eschew fighting in favor of logic and persuasion--especially since the whale has also swallowed a lot of treasure. In gently spoofing his stock characters, Lucas (The Lying Carpet) offers up clever, brisk prose and dialogue, which should inspire even the most hesitant thespian to let 'er rip. The handsome ink-and-watercolor pictures, rendered with plenty of blood red and marine blue, tip their hat to the incident-filled, epic seafaring tales of yore, while slyly including plenty of winks and nudges. And while Lucas's map of the whale's innards--key to the plot--may not be zoologically correct, from a humor perspective it's right on the money. Ages 3-7. (May)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 July

K-Gr 2--Beware the Skeleton Pirate, the Terror of the Seas. "I'll never be beaten," he shouts, until one day he is finally tossed overboard. Down, down he travels to the bottom of the sea where he meets a lovely mermaid. But "they didn't notice the Whale. SNAP! GULP." They are in its belly along with a golden ship and chests filled with treasure. Still the Skeleton Pirate insists, "We're not beaten yet!" Thanks to the clever mermaid, who gently suggests that he use his words instead of deeds, the Whale agrees to let them go along with the riches, which have been making the creature feel ill-a happy ending indeed. Whimsical ink and watercolor spreads enhance this farcical tale. Elegantly dressed rogue pirates scamper over the ship wielding weapons, and the skeleton is less than chilling. By far the most striking illustration is the labeled cross-section entitled "The Whale A MAP." Children will delight in this romp, which is a welcome and fresh addition to pirate tales, with no "arrrggghhh's" to be found.--Carol Connor, Cincinnati Public Schools, OH

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