The Terrapin boys' babysitter turns out to be a pirate.
Gr 3-6 Available in the U.K. since 1978, this is a well-balanced pair of humorous pieces, one a novella, the other a short story. In The Great Piratical Rumbustification , the boys of the Terrapin family find themselves with a pirate babysitter who wants to use their house for a long-delayed pirate party. In The Librarian and the Robbers , Serena Laburnum, the beautiful librarian, is kidnapped and held for ransom by a gang of ill-read robbers. How she achieves her own rescue, then rescues the Robber Chief, is enough to delight the hearts of young readers and of librarians everywhere. The pirate party, too, is a great success, and not just for the participants. Both stories clamor to be read aloud and will be just the answer to the Friday afternoon doldrums. Blake's illustrations are right in keeping with the general zaniness yet perfect logic of the texts. Barbara Hutcheson, Greater Victoria Public Library, Canada
Copyright 1987 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
If you had put your hand over my eyes and read the first paragraph of the first story to me, with main characters Alpha, Oliver and Omega, I would have known who wrote it right away. It has Mahy's rhythm, her humor that comes from the sound of the words, the alliteration she loves. This is a book made to be read aloud. It sounds funny, and it means funny too. The plot of these two stories twist in ways that, even having read a lot of Mahy, I never could have predicted. Everytime I encounter one of her stories, I wonder how that kind of twist came to her. I wish I could do it myself.
The first story is about three boys who have recently moved into a house. In the apartment, whenever the boys tried to do something adventuresome, they were told to wait until they were in a big house. Then they'd have space enough to have an adventure. Well, they were in the new house, and nothing was happening... until a pirate decides their house is the perfect place to "steal" a party.
In the second story, a bunch of atypical robbers kidnap an orphaned librarian reasoning that her "parents" would be the city, and they would have to come up with ransom in order to open the library again. But of course, the librarian always wins. Mahy was herself a librarian for many years.
Perfect read-aloud book. Lots of fun. And the illustrations are an extra (goofy) plus. They are done by Quentin Blake, the illustrator who worked on Roald Dahl's books, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, BFG, The Witches etc. You'll recognize his style when you see it.