Pirate Princess

Overview

Princess Bea isn’t like other princesses—she prefers pirate ships above tea parties, the salty sea over silly dolls. But what’s a landlocked princess to do?

Ahoy, Captain Jack to the rescue! When the captain offers Bea a place aboard his ship, it’s a dream come true—until she’s put to work swabbing the decks and making dinner for the crew. Can a princess like Bea put her royal gifts to work and make the pirates see that she’s seaworthy after ...

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Overview

Princess Bea isn’t like other princesses—she prefers pirate ships above tea parties, the salty sea over silly dolls. But what’s a landlocked princess to do?

Ahoy, Captain Jack to the rescue! When the captain offers Bea a place aboard his ship, it’s a dream come true—until she’s put to work swabbing the decks and making dinner for the crew. Can a princess like Bea put her royal gifts to work and make the pirates see that she’s seaworthy after all—or will they make her walk the plank?

Pirate Princess is a raucous tale of girl power on the high seas, from author Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrator Jill McElmurry.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
For bookish tomboy Princess Bea, the seven seas beat the stuffy palace any day. In Bardhan-Quallen’s (Hampire!) story, which unfolds in steady if uninspired rhymed couplets, the young royal follows her dream with gusto when she climbs aboard “a real-live pirate ship.” However, she fails as a deck swabber and is a queasy lookout: “The crow’s nest swayed with every gust,/ A gentle rocking motion./ Bea clutched the mast, and then she just.../ Heave-hoed into the ocean.” (Contrary to the verse, the vertically oriented spread shows Bea unloading her lunch onto the beleaguered Captain Jack.) Just when she’s about to walk the plank, the crew discovers that Bea has a “nose for treasure”—X marks the spot in this tale’s happy ending. McElmurry’s (Who Stole Mona Lisa?) angular pirates are (literally) a colorful lot, sporting hair in punk rock shades, earrings, buckles, and elaborate footwear. The composition of the spreads is fairly conventional; highlights include a page dedicated to the awful meal Bea cooks and a worm’s-eye-view of the treasure digging. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rachel Orr, Prospect Agency. Illustrator’s agent: Wernick & Pratt Agency. (May)
ALA Booklist
Praise for HAMPIRE!: “Fine’s paintings exaggerate the animals’ terror to comic effect (funniest is the pony cowering in the corner), and his canted angles give this just the right absurdist tone.”
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Princess Bea is tired of things frilly and girlie, and she longs to live on the high seas as a bona fide pirate. When she stumbles upon a pirate ship on the dock, she jumps at the chance to finally do so. However, she—and the crew—quickly realize that her strengths do not lie in deck swabbing, cooking, or being the ship's lookout perched high up in the crow's nest, the latter quite graphically shown when poor Bea loses her lunch, literally, on Captain Jack. (Parents will cringe, and children will most likely laugh as they yell a collective "EWWWW!") Before he can throw her overboard in exasperation, the youngster sniffs out hidden treasure and proves her worth. Told in rhyme, the story is stilted in places, and it goes on a bit too long. However, the illustrations do an effective job of capturing its emotion and cadence. This could be a storyhour extra for a nautically themed romp through pirate-infested seas, but Emily Arnold McCully's The Pirate Queen (Putnam, 1995) and Melinda Long's How I Became a Pirate (Harcourt, 2003) are stronger choices.—Lisa Gangemi Kropp, Half Hollow Hills Public Library, Dix Hills, NY
Kirkus Reviews
In upbeat, rhyming verse, Bardhan-Quallen presents the rollicking adventures of a princess-turned-pirate. Princess Bea is not your typical princess. Instead of longing for a happily-ever-after in the arms of Prince Charming, she yearns for a swashbuckling life on the high seas. One day, spying a pirate ship, she seizes the chance to make her dreams come true. To her dismay, Captain Jack assigns her deck-swabbing, cooking and, finally, lookout duties, and she fails spectacularly at all of them (especially the last, in which her failure involves puking and further fouling the deck she never successfully swabbed in the first place). Her fate is sealed. Unless determined Bea can come up with another way to make herself indispensable to the crew, she must walk the plank. The deft, engaging verse interspersed with pirate lingo is complemented neatly by McElmurry's precise and detailed illustrations. Establishing the feel of an old-fashioned fairy tale with some madcap modern twists, her dramatizations cast the pirates as peculiar and slightly intimidating rather than menacing, and bespectacled Bea as clumsy, quirky and full of pluck. A winning combination of smart and silly, this yarn will make a welcome addition to princess and pirate storytimes, as well as a good choice for one-on-one sharing. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061142420
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 336,792
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen

Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen is the author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books for children, including Pirate Princess, illustrated by Jill McElmurry; Hampire!, illustrated by Howard Fine; and Tightrope Poppy the High-Wire Pig, illustrated by Sarah Dillard. Sudipta lives in New Jersey with her family.

Jill McElmurry is an author and illustrator of more than a dozen books for children, including Mad About Plaid and I'm Not a Baby She studied art at SUNY Purchase and the School of Visual Arts in New York. When she’s not producing books, Jill enjoys working with her husband and dog on their Higglety Pigglety Farm in New Mexico.

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