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Author: Light, Steve
In a young scalawag's first tale of bartering, a peg-legged youngster sets out to help his captain repair his vessel.
Kirkus Reviews (+) (11/15/15)
School Library Journal (01/01/16)
Booklist (+) (01/01/16)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/16)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 01/01/2016 *Starred Review* The story begins with an old ship, a button, and a peg-legged boy’s elaborate plan to cheer up his friend. Through a series of swaps, the two trade goods with all manner of people until they have everything they need to fix up the ship. The button gets them two teacups. The teacups are exchanged for three coils of rope—and now they’re really in business. The swaps grow more elaborate, as they need to keep some of the supplies for themselves. Gradually stocking their rowboat, the pair sails around to different islands swapping for oars, anchors, sails, fancy hats, and other necessities. As in Have You Seen My Monster? (2015), Light leaves much of his intricately drawn scenes uncolored, reserving pigment for the most important elements of each page—the boy, his friend, a curious monkey, the items being swapped, and the periwinkle-blue sea. Though the story is told through very little text, the mathematics inherent to each exchange extend to older readers. If they trade four of their six oars, how many should be left? These questions are not explicitly asked, but the illustrations always bear out the answers. The result is a delightful adventure with a sweet underlying message, and the treasure maps that grace the endpapers are a perfect final touch. - Copyright 2016 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 01/01/2016 PreS-Gr 1—As he did in Have You Seen My Dragon? (2014) and Have You Seen My Monster? (2015, both Candlewick), Light brings his exceptional talent and clever storytelling to young pirate lovers and fans of all things nautical. A loose button is the creative spark that sets a down-on-his-luck sailor and his best mate on a swapping spree throughout some busy port islands, trading and profitting from the castoffs of others to refurbish their ship and make it seaworthy once again. Their barters include "two coils of rope for six oars." They then trade away two of the oars for four flags, then one flag for three anchors, and so on. Light's trademark sharp black line cartoon drawings are endlessly interesting in themselves yet have just enough pops of color to highlight the protagonists, their loot, and the deep blue sea. The repeated refrain of "SWAP!" affords the opportunity for interaction, and the easily counted items provide some math activity and build anticipation of seeing the fully re-rigged vessel. Several pages of sequential panels assist the minimal text in telling this engaging story of ingenuity and resilience. VERDICT A fun-filled swapfest for salty dogs and landlubbers alike.—Luann Toth, School Library Journal - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.