February 23, 2017
Pirates? Polite or not?
I have to admit that my first inclination was to answer NO and I’m betting that authors Demas and Roehrig are counting on that. I say this because although the pirates in this book do all kinds of pirate things, from fighting to feasting, they always use their manners saying please and thank you and waiting their turn. This surprising twist is sure to pull readers into the story.
Demas, Roehrig and Catrow have populated their book with honest to goodness pirates. They are scruffy and they sure do look smelly, but they definitely have manners. They chew with their mouths closed. They don’t interrupt. They share.
My favorite? They don’t make fun of someone who is a little bit different. In this case, the captain takes a bath which flies in the face of stinky pirate tradition. Although they notice how clean he is, no one says a word. The point isn’t belabored but it will make a great jumping off point on other ways someone might be different in behavior or appearance.
As I read this book through the first time, I kept thinking how familiar the illustrations looked. I definitely recognized the artist’s work. Then I realized why. He has 8 pages of hard cover picture books on Amazon including Little Pierre, I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More and the Molly Lou Melon books. You’ll likely recognize his work as well. It’s cartoony and quirky and perfect for a silly pirate book.
This book will make a great read-aloud. Kids love texts that rhyme and this one is short and swift, moving along at a good clip. It will definitely hold the attention of restless and rambunctious listeners who may be itching to act out some pirate play. Be prepared to discuss how polite pirates would do a wide variety of pirate-y things. This is going to be something about which there are many opinions so you may have to encourage your pirate fans to use their indoor voices.
Just be sure to say please and thank you! It would be a pity if you were less polite than a pirate.