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Hardcover How I Became a Pirate Book

ISBN: 0152018484

ISBN13: 9780152018481

How I Became a Pirate

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Like New

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Book Overview

In this New York Times bestseller illustrated by Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator David Shannon, a boy sets off on a pirate adventure--with surprising results!When Braid Beard's pirate crew invites Jeremy Jacob to join their voyage, he jumps right on board. Buried treasure, sea chanteys, pirate curses--who wouldn't go along?Soon Jeremy Jacob knows all about being a pirate. He throws his food across the table and his manners to...

Customer Reviews

6 ratings

Great book

I’m not usually one to enjoy a book that doesn’t rhyme (I teach preschool and rhyming just makes reading more fun). However, I loved this book! The story line is funny and catchy. It gets your attention and gives children a look into what pirate life might be like!


We got this book for our son's fourth birthday. He is very much into pirates at the moment, and he LOVES this book. It has wonderful illustrations, good vocabulary, and a wonderful message about the fun of adventure and the comfort of returning home.

There's Something About Pirates

What is it about pirates that intrigues children so much? We've got pirate movies, play figures, books, "The Pirates of Penzance," even the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Perhaps young Jeremy Jacob, borrowed by some wayward pirates for his digging skills (to hide the treasure, of course!), offers the best clue: "But nobody tells pirates to go bed, to take a bath, or to brush their teeth... In addition, they don't change into pajamas-unless they want to. Pirates don't do anything they don't want to-except for maybe swabbing the decks. Whether it be independence, riches, the potential to swear, or the boys' club ambiance, pirate stories are very popular, and "How I Became a Pirate" is one of the best comical turns at the genre. A motley crew notices Jacob's sandcastle building and digging talents (no rock music pun intended, pirate crews are just always motley) of colorful and friendly lost pirates: "Ahoy thar, matey! Be this the Spanish Main?" "No," I said, "this is North Beach." The pirates decide to take him with them because they need a good digger. Now, frankly, this is kidnapping (see Kidnap, the great pirate story by R.L. Stevenson, by the way). Author Melinda Long handles this deftly: "I didn't think Mom and Dad would mind, as long as I got back in time for soccer practice the next day." Jeremy Jacob has great fun with the personable pirates. He learns pirate manners (there aren't any) plays soccer on deck, and sits on a gigantic treasure chest, with a jeweled crown on his head and doubloons at his feet. Jeremy thinks he has found his calling. However, there's a downside to piracy. Melinda Long starts slowly, as Jeremy notes that pirates' teeth are green since they don't have to brush them. There are other signs of civilization and family life that he begins to wish for, things he probably took for granted before. There's no one to read him a story or tuck him into bed. And, when a fierce storm comes, with "everyone yelling and lowering and battening" he decides that maybe pirate life isn't as cushy and romantic as he thought. Besides, he has his family, his home, a dog, and soccer back on land. The pirate story parody is so easy to contrive that it risks formulaic retelling. However, author Long's humorous dialogue and sense of comic timing are great read-out-loud material. The pirate crew, for example repeatedly acts as a chorus to the Captain's commands: And if you ever need us, "Braid Beard added, "just run the Jolly Roger up yonder pile" "Up yonder pole!" the others shouted. This device gets a little old after awhile, but it's the kind of interplay elicits laughter when read aloud. David Shannon's acrylic illustrations are big, boldly colorful, and dynamic: He crowds the pirates together and slightly distorts size to convey the bustling deck and interior. Shannon draws one pirate with a patch on the left eye and one on the right, the dubiously blind pirate removes them one at a time to look at

A winner!

"How I became a Pirate" is one of those great kids' books that appeals to a much wider range of ages than the publisher suggests. His parents distracted by grown-up chores, Jeremy takes off with a band of pirates on a fantastic journey that in "real time" lasts less than a day. Along the way we learn pirates don't brush their teeth or eat vegetables--cool! But they also don't pay attention to the soothing bedtime rituals that this book will quickly become part of in your own home. Jeremy thinks better of his new career and goes home, along the way making sure the pirates return some day. The illustrations in this book are fantastic, with loads of little details and jokes that make it fresh each time--which is a good thing because your kids will demand multiple re-readings. It's well-worth investing in this one!

And it is it is a glorious thing to be a pirate king.

While kids have always loved pirates and the piratical life (Peter Pan, anyone?), the current pirate craze sweeping the nation is somewhat amazing. Suddenly there are pirate Saturday morning tv shows, an official Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19), pirate movies making a mil, and pirate picture books. The breathtaking success of Melinda Long's, "How I Became a Pirate" is a little odd, but it couldn't have happened to a nicer story. Full of all the classic words and actions pirates partake of (with the possible exception of walking the plank) the book's a good hearted take on one boy's dream to be a scurvy dog. Jeremy Jacob is the only person on the beach that notices when a pirate ship docks near the ocean shore. Jeremy, up until this moment, has been building a sand castle, yet the sight of the ship doesn't seem to get anyone's attention but his own. When Captain Braid Beard and his crew of seven see Jeremy's sand castle skills they are instantly impressed. They've a treasure to bury after all and Jeremy's just the lad to help them. Off he goes to join the pirate's life! There's a lot of "Aargh!"s and "landlubbers" to learn. Lots of talking with your mouth full, on board soccer (Jeremy teaches them how to play), and pillow fights. Unfortunately, Jeremy also learns that sweet comforts like getting tucked in ("No tucking!", the crew cried) getting a bedtime story, and receiving a goodnight kiss are lacking on this ship. After deciding that maybe he doesn't want to be a pirate after all, Jeremy finds the perfect place for his friendly crew to hide the booty. In the end, the pirates sail away happy and Jeremy goes back to his soccer practice. A caveat: I'd like to be honest with you and state for the record that any picture book containing the sentence, "We must have taken a wrong turn at Bora Bora", instantly has my love. The story is full of fabulous pirate-inspired sentences like that one (though I suspect that particular line has been foisted from a Bugs Bunny cartoon). The pirates for their own part are happy go lucky fellows, ready to welcome their newest crewmate on board, no questions asked. There's never a scary moment on this particular ship, though the pirates deal with a sudden storm with some relative panic. David Shannon is the illustrator of this particular outing and as such he's great. Jeremy Jacob is your typical soccer playing tyke. The pirates themselves are the real stars of this show, however. With their terribly rotted teeth and scarred cheeks they might be scary if they weren't so darn appealing. Kids will enjoy watching the pirate with the patches over both eyes as he lifts first one and then another to see his fellows. Shannon places infinite little details and touches throughout his work as well. The shipboard cat is forever attempting to devour the captain's parrot. The largest and meanest pirate is seen patiently buttoning up his pajamas as Jeremy and the captain engage in a pillow fight. A

Arr! Can I Be a Pirate, Too?

If ever there were a children's book that played into every child's foibles, dreams, and tastes, it's Melinda Long's "How I Became a Pirate."I've got to believe that just about everyone out there, young and old, will find something amusing and true to life in this fine children's offering.A sand castle of unusual quality built by Jeremy Jacob attracts a misfit band of not-too-scary pirates in search of a master digger to help bury their ill-gotten booty. Jeremy soon finds that the pirate life is for him--staying up till all hours, saying "Arr," and foregoing vegetables. But after finding no one to tuck him in at night (in a hilarious pirate pile illustrated with great touches by David Shannon), Jeremy has second thoughts about a life on the seven seas. In the end, he gets the last laugh in a delicious little twist ending.I will consistently go back to books like "How I Became a Pirate" for their gentle humor, wonderful illustrations, and pleasant reading that appeals to children. It's hard to go wrong with those qualities and you would go wrong if you passed up this delightful little book. I know my three year old son ate up every word and drawing in it. A surefire nominee for the 2004 Caldecott medal, in my opinion.Enjoy!
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