How will Penny prove that she is a pirate and not a pest? Benny wants to be a brave pirate but it is hard to pretend when his pesky little sister, Penny, is always tagging along. He tries to lose her, but when he does, he starts to feel a little lost himself.
"*Starred Review* Benny the mouse wants to pretend he's brave Benny the Pirate, and he has a crate that makes a terrific pirate ship. Then his younger sister, Penny, dressed in a princess outfit, arrives, wanting to be a pirate, too. Benny calls her a crybaby, and their disagreement escalates until Benny loses his patience does make Penny cry ( Go away! You are a dumb, bad little sister! ). He eventually agrees to play hide-and-seek, but when Penny hides, Benny rushes off to play pirate without her. Penny doesn't come out, so Benny looks for her. Later when Penny saves Benny from some ugly bugs, he takes back his cruel words. The sweet, delicately colored illustrations have an old-fashioned feel that gives the familiar sibling story a timeless quality, while the simple yet varied panel arrangement allows even very young children to understand the difference between a comic and a picture book. The text uses a limited but rich vocabulary with sufficient repetition to help with word recognition, and children will easily grasp the message while appreciating Benny's change of heart at the story's close. A charmer that will invite repeated readings.--Kan, Kat Copyright 2008 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Hayes, creator of the Otto and Uncle Tooth mysteries, chooses mouse siblings as the subjects for this comic book cum easy reader, first in a planned series (see Silly Lilly, reviewed p. 69). Jazzy, multipanel layouts add a contemporary dimension to simply worded episodes about an eager younger sister and standoffish brother who relish their rivalry more than they admit. Benny fashions himself as a buccaneer with a black tricorn hat and a wooden sword; when he stands in a crate, a thought bubble shows him aboard a galleon that flies the Jolly Roger. Sweet-natured Penny, clad in baby-blue princess gear, wants to play, too, and he automatically rebuffs her: "No! Pirates are brave, and you are a cry-baby." At last Benny initiates a game of hide-and-seek, with no intention of seeking--at least, until Penny disappears. Hayes's colored-pencil pictures set the action near the ground, in cozy panels depicting a secure woodland space. Shallow backgrounds ensure that the outside world never intrudes, except when Benny is startled by bugs that don't faze his sister. A close-range perspective gives readers a good look at Benny and Penny's facial expressions, supplying the context for the dialogue. These skillful drawings do just what they attempt: they lever beginning readers right into the story. Ages 4-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved