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Pirate vs. Pirate: The Terrific Tale of a Big, Blustery Maritime Match Hardcover – March 22, 2011

4.9 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"An all-around winner."--Publishers Weekly

"Rip-roaring pirate yarn."--Booklist

"Four-Arrrrr! rating."--School Library Journal


"I love the book, and yer nippers will get a big kick out of it whether they're boys or girls."--Ol' Chumbucket, co-founder, Talk Like a Pirate Day


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"

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"

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"

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.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 8 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: AD510L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; 1St Edition edition (March 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423122011
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423122012
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.4 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #463,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book at a local bookstore on a whim for my son. I adore it. The story is wonderful. I love how one of the two main pirates is a woman. Terribly funny to read out loud like a pirate would.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We bought this book both because our kids have been big fans of this author's other works and because our five year old son loves pirates. We figured this book would appeal mostly to him but were then delighted to see that one of the two main protagonists in this tale was a woman pirate. Our seven-year-old daughter was entranced, and this has become a favorite bedtime book in our household. The writing is playful and fun, and the book has a great message. My kids are sitting here with me as I write this and said to write "Buy this book if you have a kid aged one to nine!" (The inside cover recommends ages 4-8.) :)
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By Jane Smith on January 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're looking for a picture book that is sure to become a family favorite, look no further. Pirate vs. Pirate will delight young and old pirates alike. You might expect a story about pirates to have funny pirate lingo, adventure, and sharks, but this story has all of that and so much more. Prepare for a number of fun twists and turns, including the outcome of the maritime match between Bad Bart and Mean Mo at the Blue Lagoon. Parents and teachers will enjoy the illustrations and messages and kids will have fun reading this book aloud--and quoting the salty sea-dog insults and the sweet talk that follows.
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Format: Hardcover
This book was a big hit with my kids not only because of its pirate theme, but because of the excitement in the story. They were eager to hear how the conflict between "Bad Bart" and "Mean Mo" would be resolved and were very happy with the end. It's nice to see a picture book with a fully developed story. With its pirate vocabulary and clever choice of words, this book is loads of fun (both for parents and kids) to read out loud.
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Format: Hardcover
"Bad Bart was the biggest and the burliest pirate on this side of the Atlantic. But he wanted to be the biggest, burliest pirate in the world. And the richest....

Mean Mo was the maddest, mightiest pirate this side of the Pacific.

But am I the maddest, mightiest pirate in the world? She wondered. And the richest?"

The two pirates set off to win their titles and meet in battle.

Full of delightful pirate banter and lots of opportunities to compete for the best pirate. Everybody loves a pirate story.
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Format: Hardcover
Adorable, skillfull illustrations of the world's worst (two) pirates, faithful to all their best features and flaws. If ye be a fan of derring-do, belly laughs, and dare me say "love," ye'll enjoy this book or I'll be a lily-livered land-lubber. Arggh!
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