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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

Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure                Pirate Pete's Talk Like a Pirate

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          Art: Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure

Pirate Pete’s Giant Adventure
by Kim Kennedy
Illustrated by Doug Kennedy
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2006, ISBN 0-8109-5965-8
US $15.95 / Can $22.95 / UK £8.95 

StarStarStarStarStar

Pirate Pete, with a hook for one hand and a peg for one leg, languishes in a rowboat with his parrot. He will do anything for a ship, a wish that a sea-fairy hears. She will grant his wish on one condition – he must find the Sea-Fairy Sapphire and throw it into the ocean. Where will he find this precious jewel? Just follow the thunder, which may or may not come from the sky. Pirate Pete does as he’s bidden, but when he finds the Sea-Fairy Sapphire, he also discovers what makes the thunder. Can he escape? Will he return the sapphire to the sea? Will he get his promised ship?

This fresh look at a classic fairy tale is a joy to share with children. There are plenty of chances for them to join in with sound effects and chanting Pirate Pete’s shanty. This isn’t your typical pirate story for children, but they will delight in listening to it and you will enjoy reading it aloud. The artwork on double-page spreads is expressive and colorful. It matches the text perfectly. Doug Kennedy’s perception of depth and contrast help young readers imagine Pirate Pete and the thunder maker.

Inside look at Pirate
              Pete's Giant Adventure

Book Review Copyright ©2006 Cindy Vallar

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Cover Art: Pirate Pete's Talk
            Like a Pirate
Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate
By Kim Kennedy
Illustrated by Doug Kennedy
Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2007, ISBN 978-0-8109-9348-8
US $15.95, CAN $18.95, UK £7.95

Talking like a pirate has, for the most part, been reserved for adults – until now. Pirate Pete and his trustworthy parrot are in need of a crew, a pirate crew, and the best place to do that is Rascal Island. Once there, Pirate Pete hangs a sign across his bow: Buccaneers Wanted. Soon a raft full of “the dirtiest, most mischievous, and sneakiest-looking scallywags and scurvy dogs” comes alongside his ship. Pete isn’t about to accept just any old pirate; he has criteria!

Ye needs a peg leg and an ol’ eye patch,
A fierce-lookin’ hook and a beard ye can scratch!
Ye gots to load a cannon and know how to fire it,
But most of all, ye gots to talk like a pirate!
Those who fail to meet Pete’s standards soon find themselves walking the plank! Does Pirate Pete find his much-needed crew?

For those not familiar with piratey language, readers will find examples to imitate the moment they open or close this book, for the endpapers are chock full of suggestions. The artwork in this book is what captures the reader’s eye and imagination. As you explore the secrets they hold, it is like examining a fine painting hanging on the wall in a museum – one that youngsters will appreciate far more than adults.



Review copyrighted © 2008 Cindy Vallar
 
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