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Just when you think there couldn't possibly be space on the shelf for another pirate-related picture book, another comes around that reminds you pirates may well just be one of those inexhaustible mines. A loony old fiddler enchants a pirate crew with a tale of unimaginable treasure on an island far out to sea. The good ship Black Hole sets out with the fiddler aboard, whetting the crew's insatiable appetite for booty, then inflating their fears with warnings of a monster who Ã¢ÂÂlikes to eat pirates who come for the treasure, / and chews up their ships just for good measure.Ã¢ÂÂ Captain Purplebeard won't have any of it, and even if kids see the truth lurking beneath a final gatefold, it doesn't make the pirate-gobbling monster's splash appearance any less squeal worthy. Duddle's digital artwork has the cartoony physicality of high-tech animated art without the off-putting CGI sheen one might expect. The goony, googly-eyed buccaneers heaped onto each page and the chantey cadences of the text make this a certain winner for jaunty read-alouds. Preschool-Grade 2. --Ian Chipman
Jonny Duddle is a debut author-illustrator whose fantastic artwork is also gathering fans in the film and computer game sectors. He lives in Buxton, England.