Pirate Paul is the smallest pirate in the crew. He would love to climb the rigging, patch the sails, check for whales or even scrub the portholes until they shine, if only he was allowed. The other pirates do not let him do a thing because he is too tiny. But when the rest of the crew fall into a nasty trap, it is little Pirate Paul who manages to save the day.
Having two young boys this book was definitely going to be a favourite with both of them. They both like getting dressed up as pirates in many different ways and going on pirate adventures. My older son quite often leads the adventures as he forgets that the younger one it capable of contributing too. This story has allowed the two year old to follow an adventure he too understands.
Dan Taylor has made the illustrations bright and cheerful. The characters are dressed up in a variety of costumes which leans to the imagination and shows the reader that pirates can look different, including girls. It was great to see one of the characters as a girl and there was quite a bit of discussion with my five year old about this. Young children can quite often get tied up with stereotyping because of the world around them so this book took that to another level for my child.
The author has taken careful planning in the way the words flow off the page. Included in the text is rhyme, but also introduces the reader to new vocabulary that they may not otherwise come across in other children's books. I like that way that some of the words are bold to emphasis text and there is also a variety of punctuation that has been used. As a parent and teacher I like a book that cannot only be enjoyed, but it can teach about text and also holds a moral. The moral of this book is one that I like to embrace in my children - doesn't matter if you are big or small, blue or green we are all different and have strengths that need to be recognised by others.
This book is a good price and one I would happily recommend to others. If there was one thing that I would change however is the cut-out pirate hat and coin in the back of the book. I personally find that although it is on a cut out page it does not have a place in a story book. I have taught my children that we respect books by not damaging them and that activity books are for colouring and cutting out.
My littlest daughter is obsessed with pirates. She has a few pirate costume pieces and when she isn't "Elsa" she is a pirate princess. She is also small and has a much older big sister (there is 5 years between them). So she knows all to well the struggle of being small and having people tell her that she is too little to do things.
We sat down to read this book a week or two back, and it was an immediate favourite. There are so many great things going for it. Firstly the illustrations are so bright and lush. The characters spring to life on the pages. You feel uncertain if they are kids at play "pretending" to be pirates or if they really are a kid pirate crew, but it's really engaging.
As a mum to daughters I could completely get behind there being a girl on board. What a girl too! She is smart and brave, which made my heart sing. And then for my younger daughter, there was a small pirate who the rest of the crew dismissed. I could tell she could really relate too, because she would shake a fist at the other pirates when they weren't including him.
The story itself is beautifully written. The words have a great rhyming tempo and are a pleasure to read. Plus it is relatively quick for those nights when they really should have been asleep five minutes ago. When it gets requested for a second read-through though, I don't mind at all. It's a fun read, and this is after reading it most nights since we got it.
For my older daughter the story is relevant too. She needs to have more empathy for her sister and to be reminded to see the things she can do. This book was a great way for us to open up that conversation and see all the things that Miss 4 does well.
This book comes with some pop out pirate costume props. They are made of heavy cardboard and are nicely glossy. For cardboard they have lasted pretty well, though they have been played with a lot. It's likely that I will need to use book cover on them to keep them for a bit longer. The kids love them.
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