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How I Became a Pirate Hardcover – Sep 1 2003
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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 hes 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 hes become accustomed. Nobody tucks him in at night, for instance, and the only book available to read is a treasure map. Melinda Longs 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 Stevensons 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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Top Customer Reviews
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
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
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.
Most recent customer reviews
I read it to a class of grade 1s and they loved it. Some parts I made sure to explain to them but overall it was very enjoyable.Published 2 months ago by rebecca
My son gave this to his grampa for Father's Day a couple years ago. They share a major love for pirates so whenever they get together they read the book, it's become a really... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
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 morePublished on Feb. 3 2014 by Lynn Robertson
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 on July 5 2013 by Ben and Kate
My seven year old and I love this book. The large pages and vibrant drawings engage you immediately. Read morePublished on Nov. 27 2008 by Karen Harnish
Great Book! My 4 year old daughter wants to hear this book every night! So Cute! Buy It your child will love itPublished on June 15 2004
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 morePublished on June 8 2004
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 morePublished on May 31 2004 by Jenna
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 morePublished on May 15 2004 by Nevin Garrett
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