My five-year old nephew is not into pirates. He thinks it’s strange that a grown-up like me likes them. I love pirates and their adventures, although the last time I was on high seas, I spent the whole day in front of a bucket.
Being a big fan of Amazing Grace, I delved into Mary Hoffman’s Pirate Baby (published by Otter Barry Books) with relish. The illustrations by Ros Asquith are full of fun and naughtiness – keep an eye on the cat and the parrot, lest they should run away with a story of their own.
The pirates in this book are faced with an impossible situation – surely they went in search of treasures and finding a screaming baby wasn’t really a sign of good luck? The pirates from the school of hard-knocks try and keep the baby fed and looked after as best as they could.
But then if you have a baby you need milk and where do you get milk on a ship? The pirates are not known for drinking milk. But they come up with a clever plan. The pirates get resourceful – to feed the baby, to make clothes and to protect her from falling overboard. What more could a baby ask for?
Well the baby didn’t ask for a monster to attack them either. But her resourcefulness saves the pirates and earns her a place in the crew. Now she’s not just a baby or bad luck, she’s a pirate baby on a pirate ship.
This book is full of energy and fun and would have children chuckling and giggling for a long time. But it’s also subtly reversing roles among the pirates (check out the fierce lady pirates they meet) and showing there’s a place for a girl anywhere she wants to go and in anything she wants to do.
I’m hoping my nephew who’s not into pirates will love this book when I share it with him because it’s important for young children to understand that there are no set gender rules and anyone can be a pirate if they want to be. Although they do need a strong stomach to withstand the high seas. Not me then, sadly.
If you like pirate stories like me, maybe you can also check out these:
- Johnny Duddle’s The Pirate Cruncher
- Pirate Pete and his smelly feet by Lucy Rowland & Mark Chambers
- Ten Little Pirates by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickerty
And on this site, we have all reviewed a number of wonderful pirate books. Click here to see all of our pirate recommendations.
Chitra Soundar is an Indian-born British writer, storyteller and author of children’s books, based in London. Find out more at www.chitrasoundar.com or follow her on twitter via @csoundar.
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