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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

How I Became a Pirate                Pirates Don't Change Diapers

        Art: Pirates Don't Change Diapers
Pirates Donít Change Diapers
By Melinda Long
Illustrated by David Shannon
Harcourt, 2007, ISBN 978-0-15-205353-6, US $16.00
Jeremy Jacob wants to buy his mom a birthday present, but twenty-seven cents wonít buy much. Before he can decide, she tells him to watch his baby sister while his dad naps and she goes to the store for more milk. No sooner does she leave than someone knocks on the front door. Outside are his friends, the pirates, and theyíve come to retrieve the treasure they buried in his back yard.

The problem is that whenever the captain says something, the crew shouts out a chorus. Needless to say, that wakes up Bonney Anne. So rather than digging up treasure, the pirates must make her happy. Babysitting, however, is tough and smelly work. When they finally get her back to sleep, they discover the map to the treasure is gone. Bonney Anne has it, but sheís not where they left her. Will Jeremy find his baby sister before Mom returns? Will the pirates find their treasure without the map? Will Jeremy locate the perfect gift for his mother?

This is a delightful sequel to How I Became a Pirate, and even though the action takes place entirely on land in this outing, the battles they wage are no less dangerous. This time they find out what itís like to live in Jeremyís house, just as he learned what it was like to be a pirate during their last meeting. This is great for reading aloud, and there are plenty of places where youngsters can join in with the pirate chorus. The fantastic colorful illustrations tell the story with great detail and humor. Itís impossible to look at them and not smile. The pirates may have buried their booty, but readers will find a treasure within the pages of this book.

Sample Page from
            Pirates Don't Change Diapers

Visit Melinda Long
Free Pirates Don't Change Diapers Activity Kit
Interview with Melinda Long and David Shannon

Book Review Copyright ©2007 Cindy Vallar

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            Cover: How I Became a Pirate
By Melinda Long
Pictures by David Shannon
Harcourt, 2003, ISBN 0-15-201848-4, $16.00

One day at the beach Jeremy Jacob spies a pirate ship. Since the adults donít seem alarmed, he continues to build his sandcastle. After the pirates come ashore, they learn that they took a wrong turn along the way and arenít where they intended to bury their treasure. Captain Braid Beard admires Jeremyís spectacular sandcastle. The lad is just what they need--a digger--and so they take Jeremy back to their ship and sail away to bury the treasure.

Jeremy doesnít mind as long as they return in time for his soccer match. He enjoys learning to live like a pirate, to talk like one, and to eat what pirates eat. Then he discovers the one thing pirates donít do, but a storm strikes and Jeremy must come to the rescue.

Melinda Long, a teacher, crafts a delightful tale to introduce pirates to children. There are plenty of places where young children can join in once theyíre familiar with the story.

Caldecott Honor winner, David Shannonís fantastic acrylic paintings bring each pirate to life. Readers will delight in exploring the details of each picture to learn more about the pirates. My favorites? The shark who wants to play with the pirates and the perils of a storm at sea.

Read an Interview with Melinda Long and David Shannon

Book Review Copyright ©2003 Cindy Vallar

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