This is an utterly beautiful book. A quick flip-through of the collection and I was immediately impressed by the art, but after reading the entire thing through, I would say with certainty that this is one of the best books that will come out this year. The story has the sort of whimsy and imagination that stories like Alice In Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz were able to capture, but it feels fresh and original here, probably mostly due to the imagination of the creator, and his enchanting main character, the cursed pirate girl herself, who is a very capable young girl on a quest to find her father, a pirate king. Along the way, our protagonist meets any number of strange creatures, and gains some good friends, as she maneuvers through pirate-infested waters and causes a good deal of mischief along the way. While I love the feisty pirate girl and the adventure she's on, it's really that amazing art that drew me in and won me over completely. Bastian has a lovely, intricate drawing style that draws on the best properties of cartooning and detailed, realistic artwork. It almost has an epic, mythic feel to it all, not just because of the scope of the story, but due to the art and its amazing little details that can be found on each page and the often lovingly-arranged panels that are sometimes complex and flowery and just really quite striking. I love the elaborateness of Bastian's art and how he really takes advantage of the artform to do fun and imaginative things with the panels while advancing the story. This is a rich, amazing world, and really, I can't recommend Cursed Pirate Girl highly enough.