This book, part of the "Real World of Pirates" series, presents information about types of pirate ships, how the ships were cared for, how pirates acquired their ships, and some information about particular pirates and their ships. Bright hued illustrations, many of them details from historic paintings in museum collections, are sometimes overlaid with the text, adding to the colorful presentation of a colorful topic. Although this creates lots of eye appeal, the paintings are only credited in fine print on the copyright page, leaving most readers unaware of the interesting source of the illustrations. The text, displayed on white against dark red splashed and striped backgrounds, is relatively brief, usually just three short paragraphs per double-page spread, making it more accessible to younger readers and listeners. The text is of high interest and will also be appealing to reluctant older readers. A simple cross section diagram of a pirate ship is included. This book includes a brief list of other books for additional reading, a glossary, a comprehensive index, and access to grade-appropriate Internet sites through the publisher's web page. Though not an essential purchase, this book would be a good addition to collections serving elementary school students, given the increased demand created by recent pirate movies.
Liam O'Donnell was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in Canada. He's lived in Toronto, Canada and is the author of several graphic novels, including the Max Finder Mystery series of you-solve-it comics. He's never met a pirate and not sure if he ever wants to. When he's not writing stories, he loves playing video games and going camping, but not at the same time.