Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Parents' Choice Awards : Books : Picture Books
How I Became a Pirate

How I Became a Pirate

Fall 2003 Picture Books
Ages: 3 - 7 yrs.
Author: Melinda Long
Illustrator: David Shannon
ISBN: 0152018484
Hardcover Price: $16.00

Author Long's appealing fantasy about a young hero, Jeremy Jacob, and how he comes to join the crew of Captain Braid Beard's pirate ship, is made spell-binding with the addition of artist Shannon's bright, bold and mildly scarifying acrylic illustrations. Listeners learn that pirates have green teeth ("when they have any teeth at all"); sing -- "a little off-key "-- such chanteys as "Hey, ho, blow the man down;” and are not above kidnapping young Jeremy after marveling at the handsome sandcastle he is building on the beach. The pirate crew is sorely in need of a good digger to help them bury a treasure. Jeremy becomes their willing captive; nobody tells pirates when to go to bed or take a bath or change into pajamas. "Pirates don't do anything they don't want to -- except for maybe swabbing the decks." But listeners and young hero alike soon learn the negatives of pirate life: no bedtime stories, no tucking- in, no goodnight kisses. When an unexpected storm damages the pirate ship and drives it back to shore, Jeremy convinces its crew to bury the treasure chest in Jeremy's backyard. The satisfied pirates happily sail off, and Jeremy finds he's back home just in time for soccer practice. A well-rounded, well-spun tale.

Selma G. Lanes   ©2003 Parents' Choice

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