The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters:
The Jolly Regina
by Kara LaReau ill by Jen Hill
Meet Jaundice and Kale Bland, siblings who spend their days darning socks, eating a daily ration of oatmeal, and entertaining themselves by reading Dr. Nathaniel Snoote's Illustrated Children's Dictionary. They live alone as their parents left home some time ago and have yet to return. Life in their Dullsville home takes an unexpected turn when there is a knock at the door. (No one has ever come to their door. Ever.) Curiosity gets the better of them and upon opening the door they encounter the pirate Deadeye Delilah. She promptly kidnaps the sisters and whisks them off to her all female pirate ship, where they are impressed into service on the Jolly Regina. The girls experience pirate life on the high seas complete with threatened keelhauling, food poisoning, a drunk ship captain, a swashbuckling sword fight, and a monkey named Scurvy.
Kara LaReau's The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters is light-hearted fun that works well for independent reading as well as a read aloud. (The chantey, rants of the pirate queens, and whispers of timid young girls beg to be voiced.)
"It's too bad this ladder's no good," Kale said, sighing.
"What's wrong with it?" Jaundice asked, pressing against it to test its sturdiness.
"W have no idea where it goes," said Kale.
Jaundice rolled her eyes. "Of course we know where it goes," she said.
"We do? Where?" asked Kale.
"Obviously," said her sister, "it goes up."
"Cow-milking must be a trying endeavor," she whispered. "Utterly," said Jaundice. Though "udderly" might have been more apt.