Captain Monty Takes the Plunge

 

Monty is a stinky pirate because he cannot swim, and he refuses to admit it. Instead, he lies to his fellow bathers when they partake in their weekly Saturday scrub in the ocean. “Real pirates don’t bathe!” he tells them. But then Monty, who is a fox, falls in love with a tattooed mermaid. He gives her his favourite book to read, but she declines his dinner invitations because he smells like an old boot. Monty spends the rest of his days moping in the crow’s nest. Luckily, from this height, he sees Meg the mermaid being pulled underwater by the tentacles of a huge purple octopus. This gives him the courage he needs to dive into the water. Before he can rescue Meg, he’s caught in an octopus tentacle as well. The pair are released when they find their capture’s weakness (he has tickly armpits) but Monty cannot enjoy the rescue because he faints when he feels Meg’s arms around him. When he awakes on the shore, they thank each other with an arrangement that allows them to spend time together, swimming and dining out. The ink, watercolour, crayon, and coloured pencil illustrations show Meg as a  mermaid with hair under her armpits, and vibrant red, purple and blue-green streaks in her dark hair. Monty’s crew consist of a bear who wears cut-off jean shorts, and a violin playing bunny. Their ship has a figurehead of a flying pig on it. Meg shows bravery during the rescue, but Monty shows bravery too when he finally asks for help. Children who enjoy pirate stories, or who are tackling their own fears of swimming or bath time should be introduced to this exceptional story. To win a free copy of this picture book, be the eleventh person to email your favourite place to swim to [email protected]