I bought this book as a gift for a seven-year-old I know so the true test will be whether or not she enjoys it. In the meantime, here are my thoughts.
Jaundice and Kale are sisters who enjoy looking at wallpaper, watching grass grow, and eating plain cheese sandwiches. Their parents went out to run an errand several years ago but the Bland sisters are sure they’ll be back soon. They’re perfectly satisfied with their lives of darning socks and reading their favourite book, the dictionary. This is interrupted one day when a stranger knocks on their door, tosses them in a burlap sack, and takes them aboard a pirate ship.
The Jolly Regina is no ordinary pirate ship though. This is a crew of lady pirates, tough and fearsome. Jaundice and Kale are forced to swab the decks, eat terrible stew, and stand in direct sunlight. They are not interested in adventures but are slightly more interested in the fact that these pirates seem to know what happened to their parents.
The story was an easy and fun read. There are several references that might be over the heads of a young reader but the plot and characters of the book are so ridiculous that I think kids would really enjoy it. There is quite a bit of language that a younger reader would probably be unfamiliar with but perhaps that could be a great opportunity for them to delve into their own dictionary.
This is clearly the first in a series (though #2 has not yet been released) and so the ending is rather unsatisfying. (Dare I say, bland?) Personally, I probably won’t be going on to read the next book but I hope my young reader will enjoy The Jolly Regina enough to pursue the further adventures of Jaundice and Kale.