The Pirate Train by Nicole Plyler Fisk, with Jack Fisk and illustrated by Chad Vivas, picture book, published by Grog Blossom Press in 2015.
The Yo-Ho-Matey family are seafaring pirates, until one day Pirate Bro develops a nasty case of sea-sickness. The whole family looks for a new method of transportation off the oceans, settling on a train, in which they can travel around looking for treasure.
Overall I liked this fun tale of sticking together as a family no matter what happens. My kids liked it too. It was a good reminder that family is important, and that as long as we have our family around for support we can adapt to any situation we find ourselves in.
Whilst the text does rhyme, it didn’t flow as nicely as I would have liked. It just lacked the rhythm I was expecting, so it didn’t sound as nice read aloud. Having said that, my younger kids didn’t complain, and still asked for a second reading! They did have a giggle over pirates on a train!
The illustrations are colourful and clear, capturing the story well. Boy does Pirate Bro have some seriously thick eyebrows! That feature seemed to jump out from every page. I didn’t like the pirates’ black eyes either. I did like how they are dressed and the way that Parrot Tom is depicted with his little pirate vest and eye-patch.
This book is suitable for preschoolers and lower primary school children. The Pirate Train is the first in a proposed series following the Yo-Ho-Matey family on their adventures. It will be interesting to see where they travel to next and if they find any treasure to add to their hoard.
*I received this book from the author, who asked me for an honest review of this book. I did not receive any other remuneration, and the review is composed entirely of my own opinions.
The shaken bottle.
One of the preschool classes at school made some pirate treasure bottles as part of their pirate theme. A was intrigued by the treasure bottles, and wanted to make one at home. The bottle contained a variety of items, including sand, coloured water, glitter, beads, pebbles and other crafty materials.
The bottle and some of the treasures.
We used a clear plastic bottle to place our treasures in. Some of the treasures included plastic beads, coloured plastic, sparkly pom poms, cut up plastic straws, some broken loom bands, and lots and lots of glitter. The kids took turns adding treasures to the bottle, then I used a funnel to add silver and gold glitter. Once all our treasures were in the bottle, I filled it with water and tightened the lid. For bottle crafts like this, I normally add glue to the thread of the lid before screwing it back on too, so that the lid doesn’t accidentally come off and result in a huge mess.
Tipping the bottle upside down.
Watching the contents settle.
The kids squeezed the bottle, tipped it upside down, and shook it. They watched to see what sank and what floated. They watched as the contents settled and swirled. They were mesmerised.
Two Little Pirates by Ruth Paul, paperback picture book, first published by Scholastic New Zealand Limited in 2010, this reformatted edition was published by Scholastic New Zealand Limited in 2013.
As the day draws near, two little pirates attack the King and Queen where they lay in their bed sleeping. They tickle the Queen’s feet, and the King falls down, but soon the tide turns and the little pirates are hung over the side of the ship. Captured, they have to pay for their pirate ways, but soon punishment is exchanged for snuggles and cuddles.
This is a lovely book, with gorgeous illustrations and rhyming text that makes the idea of being woken up by young children seem like a fun and engaging experience. The language is just right for the subject matter, with humour and pizzazz. Two Little Pirates is a great book for sharing and reading aloud with young children. Slightly older children, lower to middle primary school age, will also enjoy reading this themselves, and listening to it being read of course!