Friday, September 19, 2008

Book Review: How I Became a Pirate, by Melinda Long

     When they landed, the head pirate climbed out of the boat and yelled, "Ahoy thar, matey! Be this the Spanish Main?"
     "No," I said, "this is North Beach."
     "Shiver me timbers!" the pirate said. "We must have taken a wrong turn at Bora Bora."

Jeremy Jacob was just a boy building a sandcastle on the beach - until the day the pirates came. The pirates were in need of a digger to help bury their treasure. And the captain couldn't help but notice that "He's a digger, he is, and a good one to boot!" The crew heartily agreed, "A good one to boot!" And that is how Jeremy Jacob became a pirate.

For Teachers and Librarians:
Lots of choices here for how to use How I Became a Pirate, so take your pick! The main use is total enjoyment. Your littler guys and gals will delight in all the pirate-speak (so be sure to ham it up), and David Shannon's colorful and funny illustrations will pull them even further into the fun. Even some of the older kids will have a good time with this one. Pair it with a unit on pirates: have them research famous pirates, pirate hangouts and pirate behavior. Let them create a pirate-speak glossary - then let them illustrate it. Give them a big box of props, then let them dress up like pirates and use pirate phrases for a whole day, or act out a pirate skit based on some real pirates they've researched. What else can you come up with?

For Parents, Grandparents and Caregivers:
How I Became a Pirate is just plain fun! This book is perfect to read with the little ones - especially on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Be sure to really play up the pirate speak, and encourage them to join you! Give your little guys scarves to tie around their heads, pirate style. Hide some little bags of treasure around the yard or house (plastic jewels, little dime store toys, coins, candies, etc.), and turn em' loose to go find their pirate booty! Even the kids who might think they're a bit old for all this foolishness won't be able to keep from cracking a smile and craning their necks to see David Shannon's fantastic illustrations.

For the Kids:
You will have so much fun reading this book, or having someone read it to you. Jeremy finds out all about pirate life when the captain hauls him aboard the ship. There is shouting and saying things like "landlubber" and "scurvy dog." There are no vegetables allowed, and certainly no manners. But there are no bedtime stories and no getting tucked in, either, which is a bit of a bummer. When a storm comes up and the captain and crew worry that there'll be no way to bury their treasure, Jeremy comes up with the perfect solution, and gets a cool souvenir out of the bargain as well.

Wrapping Up:
How I Became a Pirate is a fun, arrrrgh-filled pirate adventure that kids will be asking for over and over. Find your copy, hoist the Jolly Roger, grab a comfy spot to sit, and get reading!

Title: How I Became a Pirate
Author: Melinda Long
Illustrator: David Shannon
Pages: 44
Reading Level: Ages 4-8
Publisher and Date: Harcourt Inc., 2003
Edition: 1st
Language: English
Published In: United States
Price: $16.00
ISBN-10: 0152018484
ISBN-13: 978-0152018481

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kim, I just nominated you for the Brillante Weblog Premio. You can check it out at the Sanctuary.


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