Tag Archives: Pirates

The Pirate Train by Nicole Plyler Fisk

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piratetraincoverThe 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.

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Cyclops by Rachel Meehan

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cyclops coverCyclops by Rachel Meehan, e-book, 53 pages, published by Cherry House Publishing in 2015.

Cyclops lives on a beautiful island which is invaded by evil pirates looking for a place to rest and relax. Frightened by the giant with one eye, the pirates decide to capture him and sell him to a traveling circus. He becomes a prisoner to be gawked at, prodded and tested by underhanded scientists.

Cyclops is an illustrated ballad, and is the first book in the Chronicles of Curious Creatures series. It is cleverly written with lyrical text; I got into quite a rhythm as I read. It described all the characters and locations well and with humour. I really liked that the evil pirate was called I.M. Mean!

The text was white on a black background, which I normally find more difficult to read, but it suited this story quite well. The size of the text also changed through the story, which just worked. There were lovely coloured illustrations throughout. I particularly like the way the villains are depicted in the pictures.

Cyclops is suitable for middle primary school students to lower high school students. It is a good story for sharing aloud too, I just love the way the story rolls off my tongue! More books in this series will be available soon!

 

*I received this book as a digital copy 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.

Time Sailors of Pizzolungo by Scott Abrams and Adam Blockton

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Time Sailors - imageTime Sailors of Pizzolungo by Scott Abrams and Adam Blockton, e-book, 257 pages, published in 2015.

Guillermo comes home on the last day of the school year to find a strange package. He opens it, and inside is an exquisite model sailing ship. Along with his sister, Piccola, and their friends they take the ship down to the water. It is no ordinary ship, however, and soon the kids are heading out to the open sea atop a massive and splendid sailing ship, and right into a raging storm. Before they know it, they are facing pirates who are determined to wrest control of the glorious Grande Infante, meeting famous mariners such as Christopher Columbus, and diving for treasure off the Canary Islands.

A grand adventure on the high seas and across time! A magic ship, time travel, pirates, treasure, sea battles, a variety of historical figures and a pet pig called Romeo make this a very entertaining read. A wonderful combination of adventure, action, geography and history will engage readers of all ages.

I love the idea of a group of sixth graders taking on pirates and crewing such a massive ship. All of the kids had unique characteristics, and I liked them all. I was amused by Luca’s insistence on avoiding the water, Tony’s attachment to his ipad, Enzo’s overly large chin and Mario’s focus on food, but I was drawn to Guillermo’s determination and Piccola’s intelligence. I’m not sure an eleven year old would know that much Latin though! As the story progressed, I felt like I got to know the small crew of the Grande Infante, and I was able to tag along for the ride.

I’m not very familiar with sailing, and even though nautical and sailing terms are used within the story, that didn’t matter because everything was well described. The detail provided clear images of the ship, crew and surrounds. That also applied to the uncouth pirates, which I could almost smell as they tried to board the Grande Infante! I think washing was very under-rated in those days!

Time Sailors of Pizzolungo is most suitable for middle to upper primary school students, but it is really an adventure open for everyone to enjoy. It was lots of fun, and I do hope that there might be another adventure for the Time Sailors of Pizzolungo soon!

 

*I received this book as a digital copy 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.

Treasure Bottle

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The shaken bottle.

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.

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.

Tipping the bottle upside down.

Watching the contents settle.

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

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IMG_8894Two 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!