A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Greed leads these pirates to their doom, despite ample warning of what would happen if they continued on. The message rings through loud and clear.
Positive Role Models
There are no good role models here, but that’s the obvious point -- the pirates suffer greatly for their poor choices. Kids reading the book get to play the part of wise observers who know far better than these bumbling pirates.
Violence & Scariness
It’s a tale of a pirate-eating beast from the deep, so a bit of scary stuff is to be expected. But the monstrous nature of the story is lightened with such sly humor, kids are more likely to feel empowered than frightened. The pirates do carry swords and guns.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that, being a tale of pirates and monsters, this book has a generous share of swords, guns, and long, sharp teeth. But kids will know these foolish pirates are headed for trouble, and giggle as the crew’s worst fears come true. The pirates hear about the treasure in a tavern, but judging by the straws in the mugs they’re most likely drinking root beer rather than spirits.
Is It Any Good?
Both menace and humor are surprisingly well combined in this book's lively illustrations. “I think treasure brings nothing but trouble!” squawks a macaw early in this cautionary tale. He’s right, of course, but like most adventures the real fun is in the journey. The eccentric crew’s thoughts are shown in cartoon bubbles, shifting from treasure to monsters, but they set aside their doubts. The abundant visual jokes -- a sleeping pirate cuddling a teddy bear with an eye patch, a tentacle salting an oblivious pirate’s breakfast egg -- infuse the deliciously dark story with sly humor.
This may not be good bedtime reading for sensitive kids -- aside from the monster issue, the dark tones of the early pages and the decorated font can make it a bit difficult to read in subdued lighting. Observant readers may pick up on the clever twist at the end early on, and those who miss the hints the first time will pore over the book to find all the clues. The fiddler's rhyming chantey has an easy, fun rhythm without going overboard on pirate talk.
The pirate cruncher’s long tentacles quietly curl through each page, pulling its prey ever closer. The gotcha ending is wonderfully played.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.