Atticus van Tasticus by Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King

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Penguin, 2019, ISBN: 9780143796541.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Themes: Pirates, Imagination. Step back to a time when pirates sailed the seven seas with Andrew Daddo and Stephen Michael King in Atticus van Tasticus. On Atticus's tenth birthday his wealthy Grandnan invites him to choose a special present from her vast collection. His cousins, uncles and aunts even his brother and sister haven't chosen wisely, now it's his turn. A fortuitous sneeze leads him to discover a trapdoor with a pirate ship hidden beneath the floor.
Yes, it's to be a pirate's life for the ten-year-old, a life of amazing adventures, once the ship's hauled to the port. Hulk and Hogan, Grandnan's two strong assistants, three carts and a whole bunch of asses help. Gathering a rather motley crew, a feisty First Mate and a stowaway puppy Atticus is ready to set sail. Every Captain needs a plan, a treasure map and some ideas about how to navigate. Grandnan's left three chests. Which one will reveal the clues? Under her old shopping lists the young captain discovers the map.
Surviving the perfect storm, shark encounters, alien dreams, crazy arguments with wild Captain Trumptree with his hairy treasure chest, Atticus and his crew experience a wild and dangerous life on board. Of course, there's another pirate ship to attack, the Pegasis, with a surprising captain creating more challenges for Atticus and his crew.
Andrew Daddo's created a cast of crazy characters, a wild and exciting pirate adventure, with loads of fun, pirate slang, puns and humour, Atticus van Tasticus is a thrilling book to read aloud with middle primary students. Stephen Michael King's humourous illustrations add to the pace, propel the story forward and add vigour to this pirate tale. The addition of the puppy stowaway comic strip and instructions on how to draw Atticus at the conclusion are fun for the reader. Where to next for the captain and his crew?
Rhyllis Bignell