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The History of Maritime Piracy

Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425


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Books for Young Pirates

Bad Pirate                Good Pirate           Best Pirate

Cover Art: Bad
          Pirate
Bad Pirate
By Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Pajama Press, 2015, ISBN 978-1-927485-71-2, CAN $19.95 / US $17.95 

StarStarStarStarStar

Captain Barnacle Garrick is exactly what makes a very good pirate. He’s nasty, disagreeable, and horrible. His daughter is the exact opposite, which makes for a bad pirate. While her father is making his crew walk the plank, she’s below in a longboat rescuing them. When Barnacle catches other members of the crew being nice, he calls an emergency meeting to reinforce the three qualities of all good pirates.

Be saucy.

Be bold.

Be selfish.

Everyone agrees . . . except Augusta. It’s just not in her nature. But she really wants to make her papa proud, so while everyone sleeps, she finally does a despicable deed. Before Captain Barnacle learns of it, he discovers that the ship is sinking. The only one who can help is Augusta, and when she scampers into action, the pirates learn the truth about what qualities truly make a good pirate.

Bad Pirate is a wickedly delightful tale that is perfect for reading aloud and for young pirates to participate in the telling. Even the inside covers contain information to enrich the adventure. In the front are pirate words, while in the back can be found nautical words any sailor would use. The artwork is fabulous, and the various expressions on the dogs’ faces perfectly capture the humor, the seriousness, the terror, and much more. The whole crew sports earrings and locating them adds to the fun. Even the rats get a chance to participate. This picture book may be for the youngest of pirates, but old pirates will get a kick out of the tale as well. Don’t be surprised if Bad Pirate becomes a favorite that young pirates want to hear again and again.
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Book Review Copyright ©2015 Cindy Vallar


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Cover Art: Good Pirate
Good Pirate
By Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Pajama Press, 2016, ISBN 978-1-927485-80-4, US $17.95 / CAN $19.95
Captain Barnacle Garrick believes successful pirates should be rotten, sneaky, and brainy. Definitely not clean and fancy – exactly what his daughter Augusta prefers. She just can’t help herself. When she overhears her father sending Squid and Bones to the brig for shining their shoes, does she finally put aside her jewelry and brush to practice being a good pirate. Her downfall comes when the smell of vanilla snares her in a trap and she’s locked up with Squid and Bones.

After Captain Garrick discovers their plunder has been stolen, the pirates set off in pursuit of the dastardly Captain Fishmonger and his Tuna Lubbers. Squid and Bones aren’t happy about missing out on the fun, so Augusta devises an escape plan. But once they’re out, they realize something is amiss and it’s up to she thinks of a new plan to rescue her father and mates.

The front and back flyleaves of the book contain pirate and nautical talk to help young pirates understand such unfamiliar words as “plundering” and “brig.” Large, vibrant artwork provides plenty of swashbuckling action and perfectly mimics Caribbean pirates. If young pirates look closely, they’ll spot special details such as dogs chasing a ball (really a cannonball) or the piratical rat.

The opening sentence of this picture book for young pirates seems misplaced. It would make better sense if it appeared on the pages where Garrick tells the crew what makes a good pirate, rather than with his announcement that their treasure has been stolen. Aside from this minor reservation, The Good Pirate is a delightful tale that demonstrates how unconventional items can be just as important as being sneaky and brainy when it comes to getting out of sticky situations.
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Review Copyrighted ©2016 Cindy Vallar

 

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Cover
          Art: Best Pirate
Best Pirate
By Kari-Lynn Winters
Illustrated by Dean Griffiths
Pajama Press, 2017, ISBN 978-1-77278-019-2, CAN $19.95 / US $17.95

StarStarStarStarStar
The Tuna Lubbers want the treasure hidden on Crossbones Island; so do Barnacle Garrick, who has the map, and his pirates. As his daughter moves the candle closer to examine the map better, she knocks it over. The flame burns through the map precisely where X marks the spot, which angers her father. He warns Augusta that she must “be nimble and fearless – not clumsy and afeard!”

Her teacher is the nimble, sneaky, and fearless Scully – the dog who will sneak onto the island and steal the treasure right from under the tuna-loving cats. Augusta practices everything that she learns and is well on her way to being the pirate her father wishes. Until she drops a cannonball on Scully’s good paw.

With only a peg leg left to stand on there’s no way he can retrieve the treasure as planned. No, that task falls to Augusta. It’s the only way to make amends. She takes the jolly boat ashore to find the treasure. Instead, she comes face-to-face with Scuppers, the son of the captain of the Tuna Lubbers.

Scuppers is terrified to confront a Frilly Dog, but he can’t go back without the treasure. Before the showdown between the two begins, the ground gives way beneath their paws and they fall into a deep hole. Finding the treasure proves simpler than either expects. Escaping from the hole, deciding who gets the treasure, and getting it back to the ship before anyone discovers them gone prove s to be a bigger problem to solve.

Best Pirate is a wonderful, amusing tale that shows sometimes it takes smarts, rather than fighting, to get out of a sticky situation. And sometimes an enemy may really be a friend . . . if you’re willing to work together. The story is beautifully illustrated with expressive characters that capture the imagination of those reading or listening to this pirate tale. To get readers and listeners into a proper frame of mind for the story, the inside front cover features examples of Pirate Talk and the inside back cover has Nautical Talk, as well as a diagram showing the parts of a ship. This is the third tale featuring Augusta Barnacle and it’s the best one yet!

Inside
                      Pages of Best Pirate (Source: Pajama Press, used
                      with permission)
Source: Pajama Press, used with permission
 
Book review Copyright ©2017 by Cindy Vallar

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