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

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Cover Art: When
        You're a Pirate Dog and Other Pirate Poems
When You’re a Pirate Dog and Other Pirate Poems
Eric Ode
Illustrated by Jim Harris
Pelican Publishing, 2012, ISBN 9781455614936, $17.99


This collection of poems introduces children, young and old alike, to life with pirates and an assortment of critters associated with them, such as a pirate dog or the kraken. The poetry contains an element of realism, but humor abounds in the text and the colorful, whimsical illustrations that capture the essence of each poem’s subject. The book contains twenty-six poems that will bring smiles to a pirate’s eyes. The rhymes and cadence quickly snare readers, but the real treasure comes from reading these gold nuggets aloud.
When You’re a Pirate Dog
The Missing Pirate Flag
I’m Kraken
The Pirate and the Princess
Captain Myrtle’s Turtle Boots
When Stan Was a Student
Treasure Hunt
Pirate Pat’s Fancy Hat
Red Eye Jack, the Pirate Ghost
Pirate Stew
Sing Hey Hi-Dee Ho!
No One Tells the Captain!
Jerry, the Juggling Pirate
Crusty and Rusty and Musty McGee
The Pirate Molly Mae
Marooned on Coconut Island
A Sea Serpent’s Life
Captain Keel’s Fishing Trip
The Pirate’s Birthday Party
A Tight Fit
A Pirate’s Curse
Commodore Quail
Seven Clever Pirates
Off the Map
In addition to the poetry, readers will discover several “really bad pirate jokes” and, at the center of the book, is the Puffer Fish, the pirate ship. The cutaway view provides an interior view of the vessel with sections, clearly labeled, to show important aspects of the ship, such as where pirates play, crew members and what they do, and where the prisoners are kept (although to these pirates, the prisoners are considered tourists).

Interior Page:
              When You're a Pirate Dog
From When You're A Pirate Dog and Other Pirate Poems by Eric Ode, © Eric Ode,
illustrations © JHI Holdings Ltd,
used by permission of the publisher, Pelican Publishing Company, Inc.
From the first page, which depicts a pirate ship that sports not only the traditional Jolly Roger, but also black sails with a skull and crossed swords emblazoned on one, to the last, where the vessel sails into the sunset, this book whisks you away on voyages you least expect. The poems and artwork are excellent on their own, but it is the combination of the two that spins the magical web that tantalizes and captures your imagination. Each pirate reader will have his or her own favorites, but beware. Like the “betcha can’t eat just one” slogan for Lay’s Potato Chips, I bet you won’t be able to choose just one.
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Review Copyrighted ©2012 Cindy Vallar

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