Review: Race to Pisa

Posted on February 1, 2017



Race to Pisa
By Trevor Newland
Mosaic Press
September 2016
64 pages

Newland introduced readers to the Scallywags in The Scallywag Solution, as salty sailors saving their ship from Blackbeard’s pirates. In their latest exploit Race to Pisa, the four motley misfits are landlubbers toiling for King Nedward. Lazy-Eyed Liam does the laundry. Peggy Legs is the “professional polisher of all things dirty.” And Roger is the royal tailor, along with his apprentice the odiferous Gassy Jack. King Nedward is a small man who thinks big. He wears big shoes and lives in a big palace where he throws big parties. He rules his kingdom with big ships and big armies. Until one day someone points out that next to Roger, who’s a giant, King Nedward looks quite small. In his royal outrage the king embarks on a nasty plan to blast poor Roger out of the sky. But first he enlists the help of Belarius the Notorious to persuade the Scallywags to enter the Grand Balloon Race. And nobody argues with Belarius, especially the Scallywags. Before they know it they’re soaring through the sky in a hot air balloon dodging cannonballs. And it’s up to Roger to bare it all and save his sidekicks. Newland’s cartoon illustrations feature his signature exaggerated facial features and contorted torsos that make his stories so engaging and fun to read. In Race to Pisa action and comedy collide in this farcical misadventure that exposes the foibles of an ego-maniacal monarch.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Peggy Tibbetts

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