Snow, Alan. Worse Things Happen at Sea! A Tale of Pirates, Poison, and Monsters. 332 pages. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2013. $17.99. Language: G. Adult content: G. Violence: G. Author/illustrator Alan Snow concocts an unforgettable, zany pirate tale with plenty of cheese. The Ratbridge Nautical Laundry, a rat-pirate ship that cleans and starches clothes, is in trouble when they are sued by someone who saw drying underwear on the rigging. Arthur’s grandfather owns the ship and is very sick. Arthur takes his grandfather to a doctor who gives out his special medicine, Black Jollop, for free. Grandfather is immediately better, but the doctor is out of Black Jollop and needs to sail off to find the secret ingredient. Arthur and his boxtroll, Fish, stowaway and have an exciting adventure including: mechanical monsters, poison, and forbidden cheese. The ink illustrations abound with quirky personality and whimsical personality. A fun read that will have boys asking “Arrrghhh there anymore?”
EL/MS: ADVISABLE. Samantha Hastings, MA, MLS.