Archie and the Pirates

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Ahoy, landlubbers, prepare yerselves for a rip-roaring adventure . . . with a shipwrecked monkey, a sweet-singing ibis, a ferocious tiger, and a band of rough, smelly, no-good pirates! Coconuts fly, danger lurks, and only one clever monkey can save the day: Archie!

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Ahoy, landlubbers, prepare yerselves for a rip-roaring adventure . . . with a shipwrecked monkey, a sweet-singing ibis, a ferocious tiger, and a band of rough, smelly, no-good pirates! Coconuts fly, danger lurks, and only one clever monkey can save the day: Archie!

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Editorial Reviews

Kristi Jemtegaard
If the present-tense narrative, the faux hand-lettered text and the can-do community of all-too-human animals are highly reminiscent of a certain elephant kingdom of long-ago fame, it doesn't dim the fun one bit. Archie's antics are all his own, and the world he builds is as congenial and clever as the contraptions he dreams up.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The eponymous hero is a clever, courageous monkey who makes lemonade out of lemons (or the banana equivalent thereof) when he is marooned on a desert island. Archie quickly makes friends with his fellow animal inhabitants and then rallies them to fend off an invasion by a “rough and smelly” band of pirates, whose idea of cruel taunting is to stick out their tongues and grunt “HAR,” after capturing Archie's friend Beatrice, a tiger. With a retro design aesthetic and swashbuckling sense of adventure, Rosenthal (Phooey!) showcases a gift for knowing how to pace action—he lets readers savor the details of Archie's settling in, then hits the visual accelerator when the baddies appear. His text feels too literal at times, especially give the crispness and detail of his drawings—it can feel like he's giving directions rather than telling a story. But mostly he's great fun to read aloud (“Tons of rotten, squishy, smelly mangoes, kiwis, papayas, and bananas... rain down on the confused pirates”), his snappy, breathless style carrying just enough of a wink to flatter readers' nascent sense of irony. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Cherie Ilg Haas
Archie is a resourceful little monkey who wakes up to find himself stranded on an island. He takes what the beach has to offer and makes the best of it—including tasty meals, a humble abode, and most important, some wonderful friends. Archie meets an ibis who has a beautiful singing voice, and a ferocious tiger who simply turns out to be misunderstood. After spending time together playing games and enjoying meals, danger comes to their utopia. Pirates invade the beach, tearing the friends apart. That is, until Archie comes up with a brilliant plan to not only return peace to their home, but to make it even better than before. This charming story has it all: friendship, action, intellect—it is a must-have for any youngster (or parent) who enjoys a great read. There is never a dull moment for Archie, and as the story develops throughout, the flow of the writing has a gently rhythm that makes it ideal for reading out loud. Reviewer: Cherie Ilg Haas
School Library Journal
K-Gr 1—Archie, who is asleep in bed, "drifting and floating" on a blue-green sea, awakes to find himself on a strange island. After hiding from a tiger that doesn't see him, the monkey builds himself a house high in a coconut grove. He soon meets an ibis named Clarice and the tiger, Beatrice, who turns out to be friendly, and the three become inseparable. When pirates capture Beatrice, Archie and Clarice and the other animals attack them with scary coconut heads and catapults stocked with rotten fruit. Archie then announces that the animals "make a good team" and should all be neighbors. The final spread depicts a tranquil setting with raccoons gardening, birds singing, and the three friends relaxing in their yellow, thatch-roof homes. The colorful cartoons are filled with detail, make good use of white space, and enhance the text. Curious George fans are sure to enjoy this one.—Michele Sealander, Hamburg School, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
An utterly splendid bit of storytelling that acts like a cross between My Father's Dragon and Curious George, with a little Babar thrown in for good measure. When a monkey named Archie accidentally washes up on the shores of a tropical island, it's not two minutes before he's found food and built himself a jaunty shelter. The island provides friends in the form of an ibis named Clarice and the tiger Beatrice. Unfortunately, cruel pirates (led by the deliciously named LaFaargh) soon come ashore and capture Beatrice. Using his monkey smarts, Archie outwits the nasty foes and all the local animals build homes by his side. Rosenthal's remarkable style has all the pizzazz of modern storytelling with the look and feel of old-time picture-book classics. Brightly hued watercolors repeat shades of orange, black and green, giving the book a lively feel. Bound to be a family favorite oft repeated, this is one swell book. (Picture book. 4-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061441646
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/29/2009
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 835,124
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Rosenthal is an acclaimed designer and sequential artist, the author and illustrator of Phooey! (a Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year), and the illustrator of Yo, Aesop! (written by his brother, Paul Rosenthal), The Runaway Beard, The Absentminded Fellow, and Dig! In 2001, The New Yorker's Art Spiegelman asked Mr. Rosenthal to try his hand at comics, and the result was published in Little Lit: Strange Stories for Strange Kids. Mr. Rosenthal lives in the Berkshires with his wife, Eileen, his son, Willem, and Pete the Cat. He is also a fan of pirates and sometimes speaks like them.

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Customer Reviews

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