Sunday, September 27, 2020

Review - How I Became a Pirate

How I Became a Pirate

by Melinda Long
illustrated by David Shannon
Date: 2003
Publisher: Harcourt Children's Books
Reading level: C
Book type: picture book
Pages: 44
Format: e-book

Pirates have green teeth—when they have any teeth at all. I know about pirates, because one day, when I was at the beach building a sand castle and minding my own business, a pirate ship sailed into view.

So proclaims Jeremy Jacob, a boy who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew in this witty look at the finer points of pirate life by the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon and the storyteller Melinda Long. Jeremy learns how to say “scurvy dog,” sing sea chanteys, and throw food . . . but he also learns that there are no books or good night kisses on board: “Pirates don’t tuck.” A swashbuckling adventure with fantastically silly, richly textured illustrations that suit the story to a T.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I recently read Pirates Don't Change Diapers, the second book about Jeremy Jacob and his crew of pirate friends. When I came across the story that started it all, I just had to take a look.

In this first installment, Jeremy Jacob is just minding his own business, building a sand castle on the beach, when a group of pirates rows ashore. They're looking for a good digger, so they take Jeremy Jacob with them so he can help them bury their treasure. The kid thinks it's great... at first. But when it comes time for bed, he realizes that pirates might be fun, but they're not so great at doing things like reading stories and tucking in.

Both books feature the same highly detailed illustrations by David Shannon. The pirates are a fun bunch to look at, with their various quirks and unique characteristics. The accompanying text is simple and captures the wonder of a little boy's imagination.

I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as its sequel, but I still think both books are a lot of fun. They'd be great to give together as a gift for pirate-loving readers.

Quotable moment:

Premise: 4/5
Meter: n/a
Writing: 4/5
Illustrations: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Enjoyment: 3/5

Overall: 3.67 out of 5

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