________________ CM . . . . Volume XV Number 2 . . . . September 12, 2008

cover The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate.

Carrie Muller & Jacqueline Halsey. Illustrated by Eric Orchard.
Halifax, NS: Nimbus, 2008.
32 pp., pbk., $10.95.
ISBN 978-1-55109-655-1.

Subject Headings:
Pirates-Juvenile fiction.
Treasure troves-Juvenile fiction.

Preschool-grade 2 / Ages 4-7.

Review by Ellen Heaney.

*** /4

What young reader can get enough of pirate stories? And how appropriate that Halifax-based Nimbus Publishing has produced this jaunty story of adventure on the sea.

      Nova Scotia library workers and performers Carrie Muller and Jacqueline Halsey have teamed up with another Maritimer, illustrator Eric Orchard, a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, to make this book for young readers.

      The nameless terrible, horrible, smelly pirate is referred to by all three terms at every mention. His only companion is Parrot Polly, who can only stand to sail with him because she has no sense of smell, although she does seem to have more than her fair share of common sense.

      Their search for treasure seems to be getting nowhere until they come across a mermaid oracle, whose homely appearance goes against all other storybook images of mermaids who are delicately pretty. When they see her sitting on a rock reading a book, the terrible, horrible, smelly pirate reacts in typical pirate fashion:


There be a mermaid sitting on the rocks reading a book, " he cried.

"She'll know where there be treasure hidden," squawked Parrot Polly.

"Happen she will," agreed the terrible, horrible, smelly pirate.


internal art

      The mermaid poses a riddle, and its solution leads to the discovery of a treasure chest. The contents of the chest proves to be soap, not lucre, thereby providing the means for a piratical life change. From terrible, horrible, and smelly the young protagonist become the squeaky-clean proprietor of a pirate cruise concession in Halifax harbour.

      The full-colour illustrations are full of atmosphere, showing the young pirate's transformation from a dirt-smeared and disheveled villain to a washed and brushed little boy. I particularly like the mouse with the hoop earring which appears on several spreads; and the panoramic view of the bay with the city on one shore, a lighthouse on the other, and a laundry line strung between the two bedecked with a variety of bright garments.

      The Terrible Horrible Smelly Pirate will make a fine addition to any school or public library picture book collection.


Ellen Heaney is Head of Children's Services at the New Westminster Public Library, New Westminster, BC.

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The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
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