Synopses & Reviews
Bad Bart is the biggest, burliest boy pirate in the Atlantic. Mean Mo is the maddest, mightiest girl pirate in the Pacific. When they meet in the middle, it's a no-holds-barred contest to see who is the best pirate in the world. They test who is brave enough to swim with sharks, who is strong enough to throw a cannonball, who can eat the most hard tack, and who has collected the most treasure. Again and again their respective crews proclaim, "Tie!" Bad Bart and Mean Mo stare each other down and . . . fall head over heads in love! This epic tale of the union of two pirate captains is told in seadog lingo and illustrated with of knockout oceanic battles.
What happens when two of the fiercest pirates in the world—Bad Bart a portly bearded scoundrel with a hat that doubles as a candelabra and Mean Mo whose long blond hair complements her snub nose and snaggly teeth—find they can't out insult out swim out throw or out treasure each other? (They turn out to have exactly 1953 pieces of treasure each.) Most uncharacteristically for pirates they're stymied. Bad Bart filled with admiration for his former adversary presents her with a tiara. "This be a little gift" he says. She gives him a jeweled belt. "This be a present from me" she says. It gets soppier but thankfully they're pirates so their words of love ("Yer nose be red as a ruby me little treasure") are just as entertaining as their earlier epithets of "Bilge rat" and "Sea skunk." Boiger's (The Monster Princess) extravagant spreads are filled with billowy curves—foamy waves full sails and the bellies of Bad Bart's henchmen. Their romantic aesthetic as a counterpoint to Quattlebaum's (Winter Friends) piratical hijinks is central to the story's charm. An all around winner. Ages 4–8. (Mar.) " Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
What happens when two of the fiercest pirates in the world--Bad Bart, a portly, bearded scoundrel with a hat that doubles as a candelabra, and Mean Mo, whose long blond hair complements her snub nose and snaggly teeth--find they can't out-insult, out-swim, out-throw, or out-treasure each other? (They turn out to have exactly 1,953 pieces of treasure each.) Most uncharacteristically for pirates, they're stymied. Bad Bart, filled with admiration for his former adversary, presents her with a tiara. "This be a little gift," he says. She gives him a jeweled belt. "This be a present from me," she says. It gets soppier, but thankfully, they're pirates, so their words of love ("Yer nose be red as a ruby, me little treasure") are just as entertaining as their earlier epithets of "Bilge rat" and "Sea skunk." Boiger's (The Monster Princess) extravagant spreads are filled with billowy curves--foamy waves, full sails, and the bellies of Bad Bart's henchmen. Their romantic aesthetic, as a counterpoint to Quattlebaum's (Winter Friends) piratical hijinks, is central to the story's charm. An all-around winner.--PW
Quattlebaum gives pirate fans twice the rogue for their reading pleasure. Bad Bart, "the biggest, burliest pirate this side of the Atlantic," sets sail to make sure he's the biggest and burliest (and richest) in the whole world. At the same time, Mean Mo, "the maddest, mightiest pirate this side of the Pacific," embarks with a similar goal. "The earth being round, the two met in the middle." What follows is a feast of braggadocio, fabulous insults, and fierce competitions such as swimming with sharks, mast-climbing, arm-wrestling, and treasure-counting. The surprising outcome is so ferociously heartwarming that it'll shiver readers' timbers. Quattlebaum litters the pages with robust buccaneer lingo: "ahoys" and "avasts," "rogues" and "scurvy dogs" abound. Boiger expertly blends droll humor with dramatic seascapes and detailed ship settings. Young pirates will give this new work a four-Arrrrrr! rating.--SLJ
In this lively title, two equally dastardly pirates engage in a ribald exchange of smack talk and throw-downs that escalate all the way to love and marriage. Bad Bart knows himself to be the rottenest of pirates. Mean Mo feels the same about herself, only more so. Each of a series of challenges, from shark swimming to cannonball throwing ends in a tie, proving that they both stink and pointing to wedded bliss as the only solution to the contest. Quattlebaum douses her over-the-top narrative in a sea of pirate tropes, filling her pirates' mouths with "mateys" and "landlubbers" galore, often printed in speech bubbles. Boiger's dynamic watercolors, in blues and browns splashed with brilliant crimson, play with perspective and scale in dramatic, action-filled scenes of the pirates battling. Children in search of a rip-roaring pirate yarn will find adventure aplenty, with a little romance to boot. Arrrr.--Booklist
In a battle of the sexes that's all trappings and no center, Bad Bart ("the biggest, burliest pirate this side of the Atlantic") and Mean Mo ("the maddest, mightiest pirate this side of the Pacific") square off for the world title. After hardtack-eating, cannonball-throwing, arm-wrestling, treasure-counting and several equally trite contests end in ties the two inevitably fall for each other, "tie the knot" and sail off together with a fond "Aarrrr!" Aye, there be pirate talk aplenty here and splashy watercolors featuring much swashing and buckling-but pegleg and flowing blonde tresses aside, there's nary a trace of difference between the two contestants. Alas, the combination of absurdity with strict internal logic that sparks such similar head-to-heads as Kevin O'Malley and Carol Heyer's Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude (2005), illustrated by Scott Goto or, most recently, Chris Barton's Shark vs. Train (2010), illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, is absent. Yo ho hum.--Kirkus
About the Author
Mary Quattlebaum is the author of more than a dozen children's books, including Winter Friends, Family Reunion,
and the popular Jackson Jones series. She is the recipient of many awards, including the Marguerite de Angeli Prize and the Sugarman Award for Children's Literature. She writes frequently for The Washington Post,
leads writing workshops, and speaks at conferences. She lives in Washington, D.C.
Alexandra Boiger was born in Munich and started her career as an animator for Warner Bros. She is the illustrator of such award-winning books as Little Bit Scary People, While Mama Had a Quick Little Chat, and Roxie and the Hooligans. Alexandra dedicated this book, her favorite project to date, to her husband. She lives in San Anselmo, California.