When the pirate ship ‘Ramshackle’ sails past a strange object floating on the water, the pirate crew soon find themselves rescuing a baby, and a girl baby at that, and having to learn how to look after her. The resourceful pirates discover unknown skills as they squirt condensed milk from a syringe into the baby’s howling mouth, sew nappies from the skull and crossbones and even make a toy squid from a pair of old gloves. The pirates become baby Isla’s new family and refuse to give her up, not to the fierce crew of women pirates they attempt to plunder and not to the terrifying sea monster that rises from the deep. Isla herself, a true pirate baby, saves them all from the sea monster by giving away her beloved toy squid.
This is a humorous pirate story which manages to convey some subtle messages about gender and role reversal with its fearless pirate girl, a dauntless, and daunting, band of women pirates and the caring, ingenious crew of the ‘Ramshackle’. Ros Asquith’s lively, colourful comic-style illustrations enhance the text of a picture book that is full of fun and energy and should appeal to all pirate adventure loving young readers.