Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter's Companion Hardcover – Jul 11 2006
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From School Library Journal
Grade 2-5–Ahoy, Mateys! The publisher of Dugald A. Steer's Egyptology (2004), Ernest Drake's Dragonology (2003), and Master Merlin's Wizardology (2005, all Candlewick) offers up myriad facts and stories about piratica. Written as the ship's log of a fictitious pirate hunter in the early 18th century, this lavish, oversize volume chronicles his efforts to track down the notorious Arabella Drummond. Through entries that span nearly three years, Captain William Lubber reveals tidbits of information on such topics as ocean navigation, tying sailor's knots, weaponry, battle tactics, and the Jolly Roger. Spreads made to look like worn parchment are chock-full of sidebars, maps to unfold, packets of gold dust to examine, and various artistic renderings of notorious real-life pirates. As the tale grows, the elusive pirate, her dogged hunter, and readers travel the globe, reaching destinations such as China, Madagascar, and Nova Scotia. Quick facts about each place as well as the local pirate scene are included, but the primary focus is on the Caribbean-based pirate. The format invites exploration and is perfect for reluctant readers. Young pirate enthusiasts will find plenty here to keep them engaged, but may well desire further sources for more in-depth information. Pair this title with J. Patrick Lewis's Blackbeard: The Pirate King (National Geographic, 2006), Richard Platt's Pirate Diary (Candlewick, 2001), or Moira Butterfield's Pirates and Smugglers (Kingfisher, 2005). A strong addition to most collections.–Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Similar in format to Matthews' Pirates (2006), this large tome professes to be the journal of Captain William Lubber, an early-eighteenth-century pirate hunter. Lubber unfolds the story of Arabella Drummond as he chases her ship around the world. Besides his notes and reflections, the large parchmentlike pages are filled, scrapbook style, with pictures of various pirates and ships, maps of islands, and information on topics such as navigational charts, pirate flags, and sailors' knots. Several artists contribute a profusion of handsome illustrations, including maps, shaded pencil drawings with a period look, and colored-pencil drawings of pirates in action. Many double-page spreads include an interactive element. With a compass set into the front of the book and a large red jewel set into the back, this has tactile appeal as well as plenty of information for vicarious buccaneers. Earlier volumes in the series include Dragonology (2003) and Wizardology(2005). Carolyn Phelan
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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To my fascination and amusement, while having him at my house for the weekend, he came running out of his bedroom every few minutes to describe to me, in graphic detail, some newfound lore that sparked his interest. Surprisingly, he even learned a great deal about such things as navigation, knot making and flags.
The book is laden with extraordinary pictures sure to catch the eye of every young pirate enthusiast. The front cover has an inset compass and the back cover, an inset faux ruby. Along the way, the pages contain envelopes of other hidden treasures. And, oh yeah, the story is pretty entertaining too. This is all presented on a heavy parchment type paper to lend even further pirate authenticity to this fine work.
I highly recommend this gift for young pirate enthusiasts. This is also a book parents will enjoy sharing with their kids.
Like the Eyewitness, Discovery and Kingfisher family of youth picture books, this one is crowded with illustrations and brief passages of historical prose that provide a basic background on piracy suitable for children and those with limited attention spans. There the comparison stops, Pirateology goes well beyond by providing an interactive element with the numerous foldouts, mock notebooks, sealed envelopes with inserted maps and notes, and variety of other interactive items sure to keep the reader engaged.
The prose is not difficult, but does include enough vocabulary to stretch young minds. The artwork varies from a vintage sepia look to colorful original artwork. The overall presentation is excellent and looks reasonably durable. I would recommend that use of the book by those under 9 years of age be supervised to preserve the various ties and foldouts as well as to prevent misplacing the inserts and notes. Bottom line is that this is a fun introduction to the history of piracy during the Golden Age. For those beyond the level of such a children's book I might suggest the various Osprey books on buccaneers and pirates by Angus Konstam.
It is a heavy well made book with a compass inset into the front cover - you have to have a compass to go looking for pirates - jewels set into the East and West position, and a large jewel in the back cover - pirates like jewels.
I hate to be overly picky, but there is one error in the book. At one point it says that pirates liked this kind of ship called a sloop. But the picture shows a topsail schooner instead. Oh well, maybe this was put in intentionally so you can demonstrate your knowledge to your grandkid. Then again, maybe he'll just think you're weird.
With it's inside peaks and interactive panels it is hard not to get drawn up into this book. So come let your imagination free for a few minutes and read this book. Discover hidden treasure and even some pirate letters with hidden messages on the back!
Who knows it may even inspire you to go on a treasure hunt yourself!
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