Budding biologists as well as general fans of pirates, poetry, and wordplay will agree—and it makes a fuller (and less freighted) alternative to Bob Barner’s Dem Bones (1996) and other versions of the old teaching spiritual. Both macabre and cheery—a rare treat.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
This clever, cumulative tale is enhanced by its endpapers, which feature scattered labelled bones at the front and a full skeleton at the back, and playful, dimly lit underwater digital illustrations populated by bug-eyed, curious fish. The rhyme keeps things moving despite the hefty vocabulary (Metacarpals! Phalanges!) and the illustrations make it clear what everything is. Somehow daffy and scholarly at once.
It’s a little morbid, but Kolar’s digital undersea illustrations are friendly, cartoony, and understated, with humerus, er, humorous details (i.e., a squid making off with the pirate’s radius, ulna, and belt) that are all about silliness.
—The Horn Book