Illustrated by Kerstin Meyer
Ages 4 to 8
Scholastic, 2003, 0-439-71672-1
Captain Firebeard is probably the most fierce, most terrible pirate to every sail the open seas. Whenever he captures a ship he and his dreadful crew take everything that catches their interest. They also make the lives of their victims very uncomfortable indeed.
All is going very well for this pirate crew until the day when they find, and capture, a little girl called Molly who is sailing to her grandma’s house. Captain Firebeard hopes that he will be able to get a nice fat ransom out of Molly’s parents but he soon finds out that Molly has no intention of being cooperative. When she refuses to tell the pirates her parent’s names they set her to work doing all the chores on the ship. But at night, while the pirates are sleeping off all the rum they have drunk, Molly writes notes asking for help and after putting them bottles, she tosses them into the sea. For, Molly has a secret up her sleeve, a secret that will make Captain Firebeard and his crew sincerely regret that they ever touched the little girl.
With great humor and understanding, master author Cornelia Funke has created a story which shows that even a defenseless little girl can be tough. Even a little girl can triumph over a boat full of pirates if she keeps her head and uses her wits. Funny spare caricature style illustrations beautifully capture the decrepitude of the pirates and the strong will of the child. This empowering picture book is a must for all young girls who face a world full of pirates and their ilk.
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