School Library Jounral - P is for Pirate
School Library Journal (Aug 2014)
After reading this book, you’ll be prepared for the annual “Talk Like a Pirate Day” (September 19th). However, you won’t just know a few phrases to utter; you’ll instead be able to talk about pirates. Like the other alphabet books in this series, this one has a brief, fairly unenlightening, sometimes awkwardly phrased couplet for each letter of the alphabet; it’s the information for each letter that’s fascinating and informative. Bunting provides some background on specific pirates, such as Charles Vane (“V”), Captain Kidd (“K”), and the queen of pirates Grace O’Malley (“Q”). Readers also learn that pirates rarely used an X to mark the spot, since they rapidly and freely spent nearly everything they ever plundered, and that countries issued “letters of marque” to pirates, which enabled them to attack and plunder ships without punishment. Young pirate fanatics will appreciate the interesting information provided but will also find the illustrations riveting. Manders captures all the grit and ferocity of ill-kempt, surly ne’er-do-wells while also offering many visual details of ships, chests of gold, and weaponry. One particularly humorous page tells viewers that “M is for Movie Pirates,” showing all the famous actors who have played pirates seated in a theater looking at readers (today’s children will recognize Johnny Depp right away).
—Maggie Chase, Boise State University, ID