The Ghastly McNasty twins, Gruesome and Grisly, are the nastiest pirates ever to roam the high seas. Having heard rumours of buried treasure in Little Snoring, they set anchor just off its shores. Also after treasure are best friends Tat and Hetty, for just this morning at breakfast Tat overheard his dad tell his mum that he is jobless and penniless. So, when, after much digging, Tat does indeed unearth a treasure hoard, he lets out a yell so loud and triumphant that even the pirates offshore know he’s been lucky. And now, of course, they are hotly in pursuit of Tat – and his treasure!
The story is deliciously silly and exuberant. Filled with playful language and alliterative phrases, it gains layers of interest from the interruptions that break the third-person narrative. The author’s voice constantly intervenes with asides, instructions, random information and even a disclaimer while the character of Pegleg Polly moves through the pages at random and one chapter goes missing, eaten by its predecessor. Characters are larger than life, especially the nasty pirate twins and their long-suffering, aptly named second mate Mrs Slime. Matching the vibrancy of the text are the jolly illustrations, often of characters, that dance through the pages.