The Old Pirate of Central Park

The Old Pirate of Central Park

by Robert Priest
     
 

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In this wonderfully quirky story, two stubborn souls - a retired pirate and a retired queen - do battle in the sailboat pond in Central Park. Inspired by memories of his past, the Old Pirate has built a marvelous replica of his sailing ship, the Laughing Dog. But when he takes it to the park to launch it in the pond, he finds the waters are not so friendly - the S.S.… See more details below

Overview

In this wonderfully quirky story, two stubborn souls - a retired pirate and a retired queen - do battle in the sailboat pond in Central Park. Inspired by memories of his past, the Old Pirate has built a marvelous replica of his sailing ship, the Laughing Dog. But when he takes it to the park to launch it in the pond, he finds the waters are not so friendly - the S.S. Uppity Duchess is unwilling to share the seas and takes aim at the Laughing Dog. Who will rule the waves in this offbeat tale of high-seas adventure and friendship found in New York City?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like a series of post-modern woodcuts, the fluid lines of Priest's (The Town That Got Out of Town) sleek airbrushed enamel-on-clayboard illustrations unfold in a sequence of color-saturated vignettes that give form and substance to this diverting tale of a retired buccaneer. An ex-pirate, now residing in a New York City apartment and nostalgic for his days as a swashbuckler, builds a model of his old ship, The Laughing Dog, and launches it on the Central Park Sailboat Pond. Soon a retired Queen shows up with her S.S. Uppity Duchess, "which commenced with utter, reckless, and heedless abandon to race pell-mell around the pond." A battle for naval supremacy ensues, complete with miniature cannons and tiny cannonballs whose thunder "reached a crescendo that could be heard all the way to Harlem." A peace treaty is finally brokered as naptime for the elderly rivals approaches, and the two "Old Retirates" agree to share the seas. It's a droll concept that Priest handily executes. He woos readers with a combination of perfectly balanced composition, elegant design and amusing touches, from the pensioned pirate's dapper attire (eyepatch, hook and rakish red cardigan festooned with a nautical design) to a gleeful herd of dogs that break free during the battle and run wild "after years of being cooped up in tiny apartments." Timber-shivering fun from start to finish. Ages 4-8. (Mar.)
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3A retired pirate launches a model of his old vessel, The Laughing Dog, on the Central Park Sailboat Pond only to be nearly swamped by the S.S. Uppity Duchess, a retired queens model yacht. The well-mannered Old Pirate takes the arrogant monarch to task, she reprimands him for giving her an order, things escalate, and Thus began the infamous Battle of Central Park. In measured and stately tones befitting the dignity (albeit somewhat tarnished) of this pair, this quirky tale celebrates friendship, character, and, well, maturity, while extolling the glories of Central Park and enhancing the literary mystique of New York City. Priest sets the stage like a journalist, observing both the battle and the (typically New York) behavior of bystanders to the fray: People hid under tables and wondered if someone was making a movie. Dogs broke free and ran wild after years of being cooped up in tiny apartments. Even the bravest cabbies dared not continue down Fifth Avenue. Children ran this way and that, collecting the little cannonballs. The artists handsome cityscapes have a measured, stately tone of their own. Executed in airbrushed enamel on clayboard, they are arresting compositionsflat forms and muted colors, accented in black, outlined and textured in white. An offbeat, sophisticated story, outstanding in concept and design.Marcia Hupp, Mamaroneck Public Library, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The leap-at-you color and elegantly stylized illustrations, resembling airbrushed linoleum-cuts, give this book an instant allure; the story—a noble tale of character and social leveling, mock drama and high mirth—more than meets the expectations aroused by that first impression. A retired pirate, out on a stroll in Central Park, is prompted by his memories to build a scale-model replica of his pirate ship and launch it in the park's sailboat pond. All is shipshape until an old queen arrives and has her servant launch an outsized liner—the S.S. Uppity Duchess. The liner barges about, swamping the other boats in the pond, but at the pirate's suggestion to slow her vessel, the queen opens fire on his ship. He responds with a broadside of his own and a great battle ensues; tiny cannonballs zing this way and that, people take cover, dogs and young children run riot, taxis on Fifth Avenue come to a halt. Then the queen calls a truce; she's in need of a nap, and from that need—which the pirate shares—flows the notes of reconciliation. "Peace and tranquility once again reigned at the pond. Sails were set, dogs recaptured, and gentle laughter returned to the soft summer air of New York City." Priest tells the story with dash and verve, whether in a turn of phrase or a line of art; it not only features a contemporary city with one of its great pleasures—the park—in full flower, but a realm in which the wish for a little rest outweighs the wages of war. (Picture book. 4-8) .

From the Publisher

Old Pirate, who longs for the days he spent as captain of the Laughing Dog, builds a replica of his ship and launches it at the Central Park Sailboat Pond. All goes well until a retired queen arrives to inaugurate her model ocean liner, the S.S. Uppity Duchess, which practically swamps every other vessel. After several rounds of verbal sparring and miniature cannon fire, the queen begs for a truce, and the pair makes peace--just in time for their afternoon naps. Priest's enameled airbrush paintings offer a stylized, brightly colored view of New York City. Objects, and especially people, are depicted without extraneous detail, allowing the color palate to assume greater importance. Although the characters are all adults, their behavior is certainly childlike, which should appeal to the intended audience. Booklist, ALA

A retired pirate sails a model ship in Central Park, only to be bombarded by a retired queen's reckless ship, complete with mini cannonballs. Eventually, the two call a truce and realize they have much in common. Young readers will be intrigued by the miniature battle on the pond. Priest's striking artwork aptly emphasizes the action within each spread. Horn Book

The leap-at-you color and elegantly stylized illustrations, resembling airbrushed linoleum-cuts, give this book an instant allure; the storya noble tale of character and social leveling, mock drama and high mirth more than meets the expectations aroused by that first impression. A retired pirate, out on a stroll in Central Park, is prompted by his memories to build a scale-model replica of his pirate ship and launch it in the park's sailboat pond. All is shipshape until an old queen arrives and has her servant launch an outsized linerthe S.S. Uppity Duchess. The liner barges about, swamping the other boats in the pond, but at the pirate's suggestion to slow her vessel, the queen opens fire on his ship. He responds with a broadside of his own and a great battle ensues; tiny cannonballs zing this way and that, people take cover, dogs and young children run riot, taxis on Fifth Avenue come to a halt. Then the queen calls a truce; she's in need of a nap, and from that needwhich the pirate sharesflows the notes of reconciliation. Peace and tranquility once again reigned at the pond. Sails were set, dogs recaptured, and gentle laughter returned to the soft summer air of New York City.' Priest tells the story with dash and verve, whether in a turn of phrase or a line of art; it not only features a contemporary city with one of its great pleasuresthe parkin full flower, but a realm in which the wish for a little rest outweighs the wages of war.
Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547562261
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
05/05/2008
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
32
File size:
17 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

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