The Great Piratical Rumbustification:

& The Librarian and the Robbers

Wild and wonderful, these stories will appeal to all readers of fine children’s literature, and Blake’s illustrations, full of spirit and exuberance, are the perfect accompaniment of Mahy’s vigorous tales.

The Great Piratical Rumbustification introduces us to Alpha, Oliver, and Omega Terrapin, alone for an evening of devilish fun and none other than Orpheus Clinker, a reformed pirate cleverly transformed into a respectable babysitter. Or has he reformed? Before you can say “Yo Ho Ho” the Terrapin household has become headquarters of the century’s biggest pirate party.

The Librarian and the Robbers is an equally tickling tale of a band of wicked robbers who one day carry off Serena Leburnum, a beautiful librarian. Follow what happens as the lovely and learned Miss L. not only outwits the robbers, turning them into outstanding citizens, but also teaches them the everlasting pleasures of the Dewey Decimal System.

Praise for The Great Piratical Rumbustification

Two books worth of story crammed into 63 magical pages, full of robbers tricked by librarians and retired pirates who know how to party and revive the joys of boyhood (while paying the bills). No impossibly articulate child protagonists with clearly defined goals or desires, no rhyme or reason, just a pair of stories cut from the same cloth as books by William Steig and Roald Dahl.
—David Elzey, The Excelsior File

Margaret Mahy was a New Zealand author of children’s and young adult books. Many of her story plots have strong supernatural elements but her writing concentrates on the themes of human relationships and growing up. She wrote more than 100 picture books, 40 novels and 20 collections of short stories. At her death she was one of thirty writers to win the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Medal for her “lasting contribution to children’s literature.” She was also awarded the Order of New Zealand.

Mahy won the annual Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year’s best children’s book by a British subject, both forThe Haunting (1982) and for The Changeover (1984). She was also a highly commended runner up for Memory (1987).

Among her children’s books, A Lion in the Meadow and The Seven Chinese Brothers and The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate are considered national classics. Her novels have been translated into German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Italian, Japanese, Catalan and Afrikaans. In addition, some stories have been translated into Russian, Chinese and Icelandic.

Quentin Blake is one of the UK’s living cultural treasures. He has written and illustrated dozens of books and provided pictures for hundreds more, including the children’s novels of Roald Dahl.