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The old pirate of Central Park
Priest, Robert
Easy Picture Book PRIEST

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Like a series of post-modern woodcuts, the fluid lines of Priest's (The Town That Got Out of Town) sleek airbrushed enamel-on-clayboard illustrations unfold in a sequence of color-saturated vignettes that give form and substance to this diverting tale of a retired buccaneer. An ex-pirate, now residing in a New York City apartment and nostalgic for his days as a swashbuckler, builds a model of his old ship, The Laughing Dog, and launches it on the Central Park Sailboat Pond. Soon a retired Queen shows up with her S.S. Uppity Duchess, "which commenced with utter, reckless, and heedless abandon to race pell-mell around the pond." A battle for naval supremacy ensues, complete with miniature cannons and tiny cannonballs whose thunder "reached a crescendo that could be heard all the way to Harlem." A peace treaty is finally brokered as naptime for the elderly rivals approaches, and the two "Old Retirates" agree to share the seas. It's a droll concept that Priest handily executes. He woos readers with a combination of perfectly balanced composition, elegant design and amusing touches, from the pensioned pirate's dapper attire (eyepatch, hook and rakish red cardigan festooned with a nautical design) to a gleeful herd of dogs that break free during the battle and run wild "after years of being cooped up in tiny apartments." Timber-shivering fun from start to finish. Ages 4-8. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

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