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How I Became a Pirate [Hardcover]

Melinda Long
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 21.99
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Book Description

Sept. 15 2003 Irma S and James H Black Award for Excellence in Children's Literature (Awards)
Pirates have green teeth—when they have any teeth at all. I know about pirates, because one day, when I was at the beach building a sand castle and minding my own business, a pirate ship sailed into view. So proclaims Jeremy Jacob, a boy who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew in this witty look at the finer points of pirate life by the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon and the storyteller Melinda Long. Jeremy learns how to say “scurvy dog,” sing sea chanteys, and throw food . . . but he also learns that there are no books or good night kisses on board: “Pirates don’t tuck.” A swashbuckling adventure with fantastically silly, richly textured illustrations that suit the story to a T.

Frequently Bought Together

How I Became a Pirate + Pirates Don't Change Diapers + Pirates Activity Book
Price For All Three: CDN$ 41.23

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From Amazon

Young Jeremy Jacob is plucked from obscurity while innocently constructing a sand castle and is thrust into a brand-new life as a pirate. Captain Braid Beard and his crew recognize Jeremy as an exceptionally talented digger and they happen to be in desperate need of a digger to help them bury a treasure chest. Jeremy thinks a pirate life sounds like fun, as long as he’s back the next day in time for soccer practice, and so he goes along with the ragtag group of seafaring thugs (with hearts of gold, naturally). And while Jeremy adores the pirates’ lack of table manners and opposition to vegetables, he comes to realize that a life away from his parents lacks some of the niceties to which he’s become accustomed. Nobody tucks him in at night, for instance, and the only book available to read is a treasure map. Melinda Long’s story, narrated with a sense of boastful exaggeration by Jeremy, is full of a sense of high adventure that's lovingly evocative of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tales. David Shannon's illustrations, full of a goofy vibrancy, are a perfect accompaniment to the story. (Ages 4 to 8) --John Moe

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 3-Long has selected an irresistible combination for this age group-pirates and soccer. Jeremy Jacob is building a sand castle when a pirate ship lands nearby. His parents are preoccupied with other chores, so he takes off for an adventure on the high seas to help the men bury their treasure chest. He learns that buccaneers don't bother with manners or bedtimes, which is just fine with him, but it also means no bedtime stories or being tucked in. He tries to teach the pirates to play soccer, at least until the ball gets swallowed by a shark. When a storm hits, forcing the crew to return to shore, Jeremy solves the dilemma of where to bury the treasure-in his own backyard. He even makes it home in time for soccer practice. Paired with Shannon's energetic acrylics of a colorful crew of pop-eyed, snaggly toothed pirates seen from a variety of zany viewpoints (including upside down) and a small boy who is clearly having the time of his life, this rollicking adventure is sure to be a favorite with the storytime crowd.
Laurie Edwards, West Shore School District, Camp Hill, PA
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Pirates have green teeth-when they have any teeth at all. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Pirate Book July 10 2004
By A Customer
2 boys at home almost 4y and just 2y. They love pirates and this is the best pirate book I have found (and we have several) My opinion on other pirate books. Pirate Pete 2.5 ; Everything I know About Pirates (would be better for older kids) 3.5; Pirate School 4; Do Pirates Take Baths 4.5; Pirates (by Anastasio) not a story, just "facts" 4.5. But How I Became a Pirate is the most fun to read aloud.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Kids @ Teens Read Too Aug. 9 2009
While at the beach, a young boy named Jeremy Jacob looks up from his sand castle to find a pirate ship approaching the beach. He tries to tell his family, but they are all too busy, and no one notices when the pirates pull up in their rowboat and ask Jeremy if they have reached the Spanish Main. When he says no, they are at North Beach, the pirate captain notices Jeremy's sandcastle. They need a good digger, so they invite Jeremy along with them to bury their treasure.

Life as a pirate starts out very exciting. Jeremy finds that pirate table manners don't include saying "please" or chewing with mouths closed. He doesn't have to eat vegetables (since there aren't any on board), and he even teaches the pirate crew how to play soccer before the ball ends up overboard in a shark's mouth.

After a hardy pillow fight, Jeremy heads to bed without brushing his teeth...but he can't sleep. Pirates don't tuck in, or read bedtime stories. And when a terrible storm hits the ship, Jeremy is forgotten in the chaos, and being a pirate isn't much fun anymore. He'll have to do some quick thinking to escape the ship and get back home in time for soccer practice the next day.

A hilarious read with goofy, guffaw-inducing illustrations, this whacky tale of a modern boy pirate teaches the important lesson that getting what you wish for is not always best. Even the bravest little pirates may realize after reading that a safe life at home, watching pirates in books and movies, may be more appealing than an actual life out at sea.

Reviewed by: Allison Fraclose
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5.0 out of 5 stars Educators Recommend Feb. 22 2004
You'll never again read another pirate book without comparing it to this treasure of a tale-it's that good.
There's Jeremy Jacob, sitting on the beach, building sandcastles, minding his own business when what should appear but a pirate ship! When the captain, Braid Beard, sees what a fine digger Jeremy is, he convinces him to join his crew. "We've been needin' a digger like yourself," says Beard, "We've a chest of treasure to bury."
And so Jeremy is off. He quickly picks up piratical ways. Soon he is seen swaggering around the poop deck, singing sea chanteys (loudly), and slinging pirate lingo here and there ("landlubber," "scurvy dog") along with his food.
Ah yes, the life of a pirate. Nobody telling you when to go to bed, when to take a bath, or even brush your teeth! What could be more perfect?
But avast! There are some downsides to pirate-hood Jeremy soon discovers. Pirates are not very good soccer players. And when night falls and Jeremy asks Braid Beard to tuck him in and read him a story, Beard bellows, "Tuck you in?...Pirates don't tuck." (They also don't read-'ceptin' treasure maps of course.)
Suddenly a storm whips up. After lightning hits the ship's mast and breaks it in two, the plans for burying the treasure are sunk. Jeremy, quick-thinking pirate that he is, knows "the perfect digging spot."
And so the story ends as the pirates row back to shore and bury the treasure in a most safe place-Jeremy Jacob's backyard.
The story is wonderfully wacky and full of good humor. Shannon's bright, acrylic illustrations are truly inspired. (Think Vermeer gone a little crazy.) Each double-page spread if filled to overflowing with action and vitality. The characters' piratical expressions are laugh-out-loud funny.
A must-have for your classroom. Children's books don't get much better than this.
Reviewed by the Education Oasis Staff
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5.0 out of 5 stars Arr! Can I Be a Pirate, Too? Jan. 6 2004
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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful illustrations & cute story March 16 2004
'How I Became a Pirate' is about a little boy who goes away with pirates one day. He learns how to live like a pirate, the joys (eat anything you want, don't brush teeth, go to sleep whenever) and the pitfalls (no one to comfort you, no one to tuck you in). Finally he decides to go back to his family.
This story is fun to read and the illustrations even capture my babies's eye :) I do like the importance based on having a family & having someone to comfort you & read to you.
The only potential drawbacks & why I gave it 4 instead of 5 stars (and I might be being critical) is that:
1.) it might give the message that it is okay to leave your family to go off with strangers
2.) also it is fun to not brush your teeth & eat like a slob.
Overall, though, I would recommend this book.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pirates
I bought this book for my six year old grandson who is a pirate fanatic. He loved the story and could relate to it. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Lynn Robertson
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun!
Really fun pirate story....check out the sequel when the pirates come back to visit! We liked it even better! "Pirates Don't Change Diapers"
Published 16 months ago by Ben and Kate
4.0 out of 5 stars A mighty fine adventure !
My seven year old and I love this book. The large pages and vibrant drawings engage you immediately. Read more
Published on Nov. 27 2008 by Karen Harnish
5.0 out of 5 stars AYE MATEYS! My 4yo Daughters Favorite Book!
Great Book! My 4 year old daughter wants to hear this book every night! So Cute! Buy It your child will love it
Published on June 15 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Little Boys Book
I bought this book for my 3 y.o. son this past February. It has by far become not only his favorite book but the favorite book of my five year old daughter. Read more
Published on June 8 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Trap Award Winner
This book is great. I ran out and bought it as soon as I heard it for the first time. This book won the Golden Trap Award winner for all of the islands in our area. Read more
Published on May 31 2004 by Jenna
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful for my 6 yr old
My 6 yr. old son has recently become interested in pirates and this book is adorable. The author tells us about the pirates'lack of personal hygiene, rules, and most... Read more
Published on May 15 2004 by Nevin Garrett
5.0 out of 5 stars FAVORITE
This is my 4-year-old son's favorite book. He even tries to brush his teeth extra good so they don't turn green --like a pirate's teeth.
Published on March 18 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars Cute, engaging, fun
Jeremy, probably feeling a little neglected on the beach, goes off with a band of pirates. He feels his parents won't mind as as long as he is back in time for soccer practice the... Read more
Published on March 7 2004 by ardnam
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Pirate Fantasy
After seeing his sandcastle at the beach, a ship of pirates decides to take Jeremy Jacobs aboard their ship. Read more
Published on Feb. 26 2004 by Lane Young
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