Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor

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9780763616250: Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor
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On a fantastic island populated by unusual animals, a pirate captain finds a trustworthy companion in the little "Yellow Creature."

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Review:

Back in the 1930s, a young man named Mervyn Peake fled the pressures of modern society for the Channel Islands in hopes of living a free, bohemian life with his wife and two sons. Each Sunday, he would draw pictures of pirates, comical animals, and shipboard scenarios for his family's amusement. Captain Slaughterboard Drops Anchor, first published in 1939, is a stunning collection of those marvelously detailed illustrations and a splendid, swashbuckling story to boot. As the salty sea captain's name might suggest, he is as bloodthirsty a pirate as they come. One day, blue-tattooed mate Charlie Choke spies a pink island on the horizon. "'Pink!' shouted the Captain, leaping to his feet. 'That's just the sort I like. Sail me there and hurry up or I'll chop you all up into mincemeat.'"

On the island, they capture the gentle Yellow Creature (much to its glee) and bring it back to their boat. The other island inhabitants, all purple, silently watch the Y.C. leave, except for the bottom-dwelling Plummet who "couldn't see that anything was happening, but he felt it was." Suffice it to say that this nonsensical Lewis Carrollific, Edward Learesque story is a pure delight. Peake's imaginative, R. Crumb-style illustrations of pirate life and fanciful creatures are rich with detail that children will love examining at length. To top it all off, he offers a story of unlikely friendship of a ferocious pirate who comes to wonder how he could have ever enjoyed battle so much and the Yellow Creature, who is an expert at lounging around and eating fruit. Eccentric, playful, and as utterly original as all of Mervyn Peake's work (The Ghormenghast trilogy), Captain Slaughterboard is a classic that well deserves this no-less-than-fantastic recasting. Yo-ho! (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson

About the Author:

Mervyn Peake (1911-1968) wrote poetry and plays, was a painter and illustrator and designed theatrical costumes. But he is best known for his Gormenghast trilogy, which includes the novels Titus Groan, Gormenghast and Titus Alone. Several of his works have since been adapted into television and radio plays. Mervyn Peake also illustrated memorable editions of such classics as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Hunting of the Snark, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Treasure Island.

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Peake, Mervyn
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