Sunday, May 19, 2019

Review - Twenty-six Pirates: An Alphabet Book

Twenty-six Pirates: An Alphabet Book
by Dave Horowitz
Date: 2013
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 32
Format: e-book
Source: Open Library

Dave Horowitz’s swashbuckling cut-paper artwork is packed with clever details in this epic companion to his popular Twenty-six Princesses.

This rhyming alphabet book is chock full of fun as 26 mischievous pirates head to Captain Frogbeard’s ship where they hope to join the crew—and the fun! From Arty to Zach, the Pirates of the Alphabet are the most colorful crew on the high seas!

(synopsis from Goodreads)

This alphabet book is a disappointment. I didn't realize when I picked it up and read it that there's a companion book called Twenty-six Princesses. If I'd known, I might've given this one a little more leeway. As it was, I kept wondering why all the pirates were male! Girls can be pirates, too!

The illustrations are amusing and interesting to look at, the rhymes are silly (but fun), and Horowitz manages to come up with a named pirate for every letter of the English alphabet. But... something's missing. (Girls, maybe? Sorry... I just can't get past that. Why are we still seeing rigid gender stereotypes in the 21st century? Why aren't there any female pirates? If I were a little girl who loved pirates, I would be very disappointed to pick this one up and see that, apparently, only boys are allowed to have the fun of being a swashbuckler.)

There was no good reason this book had to be so gender-binary and exclusionary. For that reason, I can't really recommend it.

Premise: 2/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 3/5
Illustrations: 3/5
Originality: 3/5

Enjoyment: 1/5

Overall: 2.17 out of 5

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