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The Castaway Pirates: A Pop-Up Tale of Bad Luck, Sharp Teeth, and Stinky Toes    by Ray Marshall & Wilson Swain order for
Castaway Pirates
by Ray Marshall
Order:  USA  Can
Chronicle, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Daninhirsch

What's not to love about a pop-up book and a group of pirates with stinky feet?

Complete with pirate slang, this book tells the story, in rhyme, of a group of swashbuckling pirates adrift on the open seas. When their ship The Stinky Toes begins to sink, the castaway pirates ride out the storm in a small boat. If that were not troublesome enough, their boat has sprung a leak just as a shark approaches. In vain, the men try to plug the leak, while the shark gets closer with each page.

'"A leak! A leak! We've sprung a leak!
Do something quick!" the captain shrieked.
"Or it's way-hey-ho and down we go!"
And as the waters rose,
A gray shark showed his nose.

So someone cried,
"Mates o'the crew, here's what we'll do:
Let's plug the leak with the captain's shoe,
'cause it's his fault we're in this stew!
Or it's way-hey-ho and down we go!

The final joke is that the shark is so disgusted by the pirates' stinky feet that he swims away, leaving them intact (and still sinking). Each turn of the page is a delight, with intricate artwork and elaborate pop-up designs. This is a book that begs to be read aloud in piratespeak.

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