Ned the Knitting Pirate

illus. by Leslie Lammle. 40p. Roaring Brook. Aug. 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781596438903.
PreS-Gr 2—The scurvy pirates aboard the Rusty Heap are a scruffy and scrappy and happy crew. "We're tougher than gristle and barnacle grit./We heave, and we ho, and we swab, and we…knit!!!" Or at least Ned does, much to the captain's disgust. Readers join a celebration when Ned's enormous hand-knitted blanket saves the day by sending a sail-eating sea monster back to the deep for a 100-year-long nap. Murray's couplets flow with unique images like a "skull-trim appliqué" and a "briny ocean beast." Lammle's charming, rounded cartoon characters include a watchful mermaid and a monkey who appears on nearly every page. The soft palette and friendly crew should please even the youngest pirate fans. Makers will want to take Ned's lead and teach their mates a stitch or two.
VERDICT A great read-aloud for pirate-themed storytimes, and, by tale's end, listeners will join in on the refrain.

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