Backbeard: Pirate for Hireby Matthew McElligott
Backbeard may have a new suit, but he is still one of the orneriest, smelliest, and hairiest pirates ever to sail the high seas. And his crew still likes to smash and steal thingsthey just prefer to do it in style. Unfortunately, certain members of the Pirate Council don't think he looks piratey enough in his new garb, and since they are just as stubborn as
Backbeard may have a new suit, but he is still one of the orneriest, smelliest, and hairiest pirates ever to sail the high seas. And his crew still likes to smash and steal thingsthey just prefer to do it in style. Unfortunately, certain members of the Pirate Council don't think he looks piratey enough in his new garb, and since they are just as stubborn as Backbeard, it's their way or the waterway.
Unwilling to give up his birthday suit, Backbeard sets out in search of new employment. He can pillage and plunder with the best of them, but who'll dare to hire a dirty, smelly ex-pirate?
K-Gr 3 The "hairiest...smelliest, dirtiest, and most colorfully dressed pirate ever" returns for another adventure. Backbeard is forced to seek new employment after the Pirate Council deems him unfit for a career in pirating because of his clownish attire, straw hat, and pig mascot. He finally finds work in an elegant tearoom (not exactly the perfect fit for his skills) before finding a way to return to his true calling. McElligott's mixed-media illustrations are striking. Numerous textures in warm hues accentuate Backbeard and his crew's unexpected fervor for fashion. Framed illustrations with dominant vertical lines make the actions portrayed seem static and formal, contrasting ironically with the text's conversational tone and silly subject matter. Unfortunately, the fine artwork does not compensate for a lackluster plot and underdeveloped writing. The eye-catching cover featuring the protagonist wearing a "Pirate for Hire" sandwich board will attract young readers, but swashbuckler aficionados may have trouble appreciating Backbeard given that he does very little pirating. For better books about buccaneers behaving uncharacteristically, try Mem Fox's Tough Boris (1994) or Melinda Long's Pirates Don't Change Diapers (2007, both Harcourt).-Madeline Walton-Hadlock, San Jose Public Library, CA
- Walker & Company
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- First Edition
- Product dimensions:
- 8.12(w) x 11.47(h) x 0.39(d)
- Age Range:
- 4 - 7 Years
Meet the Author
MATTHEW McELLIGOTT is the author of several books for children, including Absolutely Not. He is an innovative self-promoter with a strong focus on multimedia who averages 20-30 appearances per year including school visits. Visit his website at www.mattmcelligott.com.
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