Although Victricia Malicia Calamity Barrett was born on her family's pirate ship, this
mild-mannered, book-loving girl is sick of the sea:
"I loathe when my sisters speak pirate vernacular,
gag when my lunch is Spaghetti Tentacular,
want a new pet that's not scaly or spiny,
and wish I could keep my books somewhere less briny!"
With her nose permanently buried in a book, Victricia is a disaster at pirating chores:
her knots slip, she falls from the rigging, and her cooking makes rats abandon ship!
When Vic's mistakes finally cause a treasure to slide overboard, the pirates decide she
must be grounded - sent ashore until she's ready to become a better buccaneer. But a
sea-serpent appears and things don't turn out as planned. Victricia saves the day and is
granted her wish - to live on the little island where the pirates bury their treasure.
Far from the waves and foam, Victricia is finally able to follow her dream. She opens a
bookstore with Sea Story Hour, and Landlubber Books becomes the pirates' favorite port
in a storm.
Hardcover, 32 full color pages, ages 4-8
ISBN 9781936261123, June 2012
Endorsements & Reviews
From School Library Journal
"Clickard's masterful text is a rhyming joy to read…. Meyers's humorous illustrations add plenty of special touches like the fitting names on
many book spines and covers. A fun read-aloud."
From Publishers Weekly
In Clickard’s debut, a pirate tale in verse, heroine Victricia would rather read than swashbuckle. Her bookishness isn’t her only problem; it’s
part of a bigger package of nerdy, out-of-place feelings (she makes a shirt that reads “I Heart Dry Land”). To her credit, Clickard takes
rhyme and meter seriously, achieving, at her best, a Gilbert and Sullivan–like patter as she imagines the pirates mulling disciplinary
measures (“Let’s ground her awhile—” “For a week—” “Maybe two...” “On a boring old island, with nothing to do.” “ ’Twill heighten her
gratitude.” “Fix her pirattitude!”). Although Victricia redeems herself, she knows her heart isn’t at sea, opting for a life as a bookseller—and
bringing about a career change among her former shipmates, who become “the world’s first seafaring librarians!” In full-bleed spreads,
Meyers (the Ballpark Mysteries series) provides lots of pirate detail and even an ironic moment or two (Victricia’s baby cradle
mobile features a fish skeleton and a dagger, presumably to encourage early pirate development). Rollicking, sea-chantey verse and
slapstick humor make this a promising readaloud.
From Kirkus Reviews
"Ahoy, mateys; there's one determined young girl aboard this pirate ship. Victricia Malicia Calamity Barrett comes from a long line of
pillagers. Her mother commands the crew, and her father cooks the grub. “Vic,” however, prefers butterfly tattoos and reading. Her
inefficiency at basic buccaneering tasks brings unexpected results when a threatening sea serpent appears on deck. Victricia's gumption, her
poorly tied lines, and a skull-and-bones towel save her boisterous clan. Her future is clear: The end finds her the proprietor of a bookstore
on shore. Her relatives finally support her ambitions, and they spend their time with their noses buried in some books. Vic's personality
shines through; the sign on the shop's front door reads “No Pillaging or Plundering Books.” Upbeat rhymes bounce along as Victricia
follows her own path.... Acrylic-and–mixed-media scenes emphasize slapstick and comical expressions to downgrade the pirates'
plundering to a benign, lively romp. Though swelly seas occasionally threaten, overall, it's smooth-enough sailing here."
From Children's Literature
Victricia Malicia Calamity Barrett was born on the deck of a pirate ship, swaddled in a black blankie, taught her first words from a parrot,
and took her first steps while walking a plank. Nonetheless, she grows up decidedly averse to the life of a plundering and looting pirate:
"Victricia detested it vehemently. Victricia Malicia was sick of the sea." Victricia's family starts to agree that she is not suited for piracy when
she swabs the deck with home-made soap so slippery that "her horrible blunder" causes all their beautiful plunder to slide off the deck, sunk
forever. Luckily, a marauding sea monster who slithers aboard has its murderous plans foiled by that same slip-slapping, sloshing soap,
making Victricia the hero of the day. Still, it is clear that avid reader Victricia is better off as a landlubber—and it turns out, as a bookstore
owner, who inspires her family to give up their trade as "barbarians" for an alternative career path: "the world's first seafaring librarians."
Rollicking rhyme and exuberant action-filled pictures make this a fun choice for anyone who is a book lover, or ever felt like a
misfit, or, like most of us, both. Reviewer: Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
From Children's Lit Expert Peggy Sharp
"A pirate who loves books is a librarian's dream. Lots of fun and a healthy reminder that everyone loves a good book."
From Midwest Book Review
"A stirring tale enthralling 4-8 year old children…. Kids will love the rhymes and comic, colorful, swashbuckling detailed illustrations… and
they may even be tempted to become bookstore/library patrons themselves."
"Ride the rollicking rhyme on this sea-fearing adventure! Victricia is a true heroine, and new author, Carrie Clickard, is a true
wordsmith." —Lisa Wheeler, author of Dino-Hockey, Ugly Pie, and many other picture books.
From Portland Book Review
Victricia Malicia Calamity was born to pirating: her mother is the captain of the vessel they live on, her father is the cook, and her sisters
have happily joined the family business of looting and plundering. Victricia, though, is different, as she has not found joy in being a pirate. She
can’t tie a knot properly, cook, or swab the deck. What she really wants to do is live on land and read books, a desire that leaves her family
and the other pirates perplexed. Will Victricia be allowed to follow her dreams, or will she have to live a life of dull pirating in the family
Victricia Malicia: Book-Loving Buccaneer is a fun book for kids and highlights the importance of following your dreams, even if they are
different than your family’s dreams. The book is written in rhyme and is frequently funny, and the illustrations are fun and colorful. This story
on the whole is a great one for kids, especially if they, too, have an abiding love for books.
From Bookfoolery and Babble blog
You have to love this book right off the bat because the author chose to make Victricia's mother the captain and her father the ship's cook,
don't you? The text of Victricia Malicia is so terrific that I feel like just describing it is kind of pitiful, but I'll go ahead and tell you about it....
What a fun book! Bright, cheerful illustrations in vivid colors, clever writing with some challenging vocabulary words (opportunities to teach!)
and a great storyline make this comfortably rhythmic book a delight. All the book titles crammed into its pages make reading the book
doubly fun. Highly recommended."
From My Shelf.com
Victricia Malicia Calamity Barrett comes from a pirate family, but she's much more at home in a book than a barge. Her lack of pirate skills
seems to mess up everything, until a scary sea serpent goes after the ship. With her hero status firmly in place, Victricia can finally find her
place -- a place that changes her family forever. The rollicking rhyme tells the tale of Victricia with humor and plenty of lively
action. And the message of the book in honoring everyone's special gifts and dreams was explored without a hint of lecture or
nag. The bright illustrations are so full of action that children will return to pore over them time after time. I particularly enjoyed the end
pieces with line drawings that show us the parts of a ship in the front and an appealing "treasure" map at the end. For little pirate lovers, this
book is worth a three-argh salute! -Jan Fields
From The Corner on Character blog
Meet A Book Loving Buccaneer: Ahoy Mateys . . . there's a new kid in town thanks to our friends at Flash Light Press that I think you'll
want to meet! Like most of us, she's a "Book Loving Buccaneer," but she's stuck in a precarious position aboard a pirate ship in a pirate
family with not an ounce of pirate-ness in her being or bones. Through author Carrie Clickard's clever discourse, the reader travels the
stormy seas that are Victricia Malicia's life and yearns with this young spitfire for something more suitable. Just wait until you see what
happens when the tides turn and the waves of life crest Vic into the chapter where she could capture her daring dry-land dreams.
On the Alamosa Bookstore's 2012 Passport Summer Reading Program in Albuquerque, NM
From Book and a Garden blog
"This rollicking tale, told in witty rhyme by Carrie Clickard, is sure to delight readers and listeners. Mark Meyers’ hilarious illustrations are in
keeping with the spirit of the story. Little extras—like the book titles [on the library shelf, for instance] Don’t Let the Pigeon Steer the
Ship—add to fun. So, me hearties, hurry and get a copy of this treasure for your very own."
From NY Parenting
Pirate Heroine Turns Book-aneer: There are some books you love to read to your child, and some he prefers, but we think you’ll both agree
that Carrie Clickard’s “Victricia Malicia: Book-Loving Buccaneer” will be considered a treasure. In this tale, illustrated by Mark Meyers (of
“Ballpark Mysteries” fame), young Victricia just can’t embrace the family business of swashbuckling. Instead, she yearns for books and dry
land. Clickard’s rhyming tale is a joy to read aloud, and she introduces her readers (ages 4–8) to a boatload of pirate terms. She vanquishes
a sea serpent and is hailed a hero, but she stays true to her dream and opens a bookstore on an island. Her independent spirit is an
inspiration to all.
From City Book Review ****
Victricia Malicia Calamity Berret is a girl pirate who loves books. Her whole family is made of pirates and they want her to be a buccaneer
too. Her mother was the ship’s captain, her father was the cook, and her sisters are pirates as well. Victricia’s pirating skills are never up to
par even though she’s been learning them all her life. Her mistakes almost get her kicked off the boat, until she saves everyone from a sea
monster. Still, Victricia knows that the pirate’s life is not for her. Instead, she opens her own bookstore on land and teaches the other pirates
how to read.
Victricia Malicia is an interesting book... and there were lots of other really big words in the book as well, like vehemently and vernacular. I
liked when my mom read it to me, but it was hard to read by myself. I liked Victricia because she was a bookworm just like me and
because she stood up for what she really wanted. --review by Alexandria, age 7
From Z Hayes on Treview
My seven-year-old daughter and I love to read, browse in musty old bookstores, and hang out at the library. When we spied this book at
our local library, we could not resist it. This rhyming adventure on the high seas (and land) is great fun, and makes a wonderful read-
aloud. My daughter and I took turns reading this aloud and added sound effects for good measure, resulting in a fun and engaging reading
Victricia Malicia is a sweet young girl who despite her less than benign name, wishes for nothing more than to live on a farm and put down
roots. This proves difficult given her family's love of the high seas and their buccaneering tradition. They can't fathom why the youngest in
their clan has no interest in sailing and raiding the high seas! Instead, she hides away in solitude, taking refuge in books (she teaches herself to
read at a tender young age), and dreams of a landlubbing life.
Well, just as Victricia's family decide that perhaps it's time to "de-boat" her, something unexpected happens that proves Victricia has more to
her than meets the eye :) This is a wonderful, fun read, told in a rhyming style that is pure delight and whimsy. The colorful
illustrations are beautifully done, and should appeal to aspiring young book-loving buccaneers and landlubbers alike!
From Stories a la Mode
How’s this for a great combination: a ship full of pirates, an ancient Sea Monster, trunks full of doubloons (ooops, they might have all gotten
sunk into the ocean after slipping and sliding in “soap . . . created from squid spit and lotion”), and spaghetti served with mysterious looking
sea creature tentacles. So what’s the problem?
Pirate Daughter hates the sea and yearns to live on dry land. Victricia Malicia, title character of VICTRICIA MALICIA: BOOK-LOVING
BUCCANEER by Carrie Clickard, never did learn to climb the rigging or tie knots that would hold. And frankly, she didn’t care for
Spaghetti Tentacular. Her great passion was reading books.
After a lively discussion, the family decides that the best way to cure Vic is to “ground her.” But before she can be put ashore with her book
collection, she saves the family from the Sea Serpent, Scylla. And as a reward, Vic gets her greatest wish.
Mark Meyers did a superb job of bringing Carrie’s story to life. Each family member is distinctively drawn and dressed and the facial
expressions are appropriate to each escapade. Even the ship critters are interesting: Vic’s gold fish in a bowl, the green potbellied parrot,
and the mice that can’t abide Vic’s cooking. The sketch of the ship adds to the understanding of piratical terms and the treasure map is
absolutely authentic. By the way, the name of the ship is The Potbellied Parrot.
I can’t help but brag that Carrie is a member of my SCBWI group and I’m sure the entire state of Florida is proud of her even though it’s
only been two years since we stole her from the state of Michigan. They’re welcome to be proud of her, too.
From 3rd Grade Reading.net
...Third grade strong boys and girls will laugh at this funny story.... Victricia is a character that all third grade readers will identify with. The
story is told in rhyme and is fun to read. This would be a great read aloud for teachers to introduce the fact that the books Victricia uses are
real books and many of the titles are shown. Teachers could easily make a project for the students to choose a book from Victricia’s
|Picture Books That Explore and Illuminate
Lexile Measure: 910L
Mean Sentence Length: 11.53
Mean Log Word Frequency: 3.20
Word Count: 911
Peek inside by clicking the cover