Pirates and Princesses

( 1 )

Overview

Ivy and Fletch have been best friends since babyhood. But when they get to kindergarten, they discover that the girls play with the girls, and the boys with the boys; suddenly Ivy and Fletch find themselves apart on the playground, on the Princess Team and the Pirate Team. It isn't until Fletch steps in to rescue Princess Ivy from pirate capture that they realize they miss playing together. Can they desegregate their playground?

This lighthearted story of cooperation and ...

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Overview

Ivy and Fletch have been best friends since babyhood. But when they get to kindergarten, they discover that the girls play with the girls, and the boys with the boys; suddenly Ivy and Fletch find themselves apart on the playground, on the Princess Team and the Pirate Team. It isn't until Fletch steps in to rescue Princess Ivy from pirate capture that they realize they miss playing together. Can they desegregate their playground?

This lighthearted story of cooperation and open-mindedness will resonate with kids, parents, and teachers everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Best friends since their "diaper days," Ivy and Fletch get a rude awakening when they hit kindergarten and encounter voluntary gender segregation: "hile Ivy and Fletch played on the swings together, all of the other girls were with the girls and the boys were with the boys." Will the allure of same-sex-only fun—the princess club for Ivy, pirates for Fletch—prove stronger than a lifelong friendship (all five years of it)? The Kargmans, a mother and daughter team (Sadie is eight), make their debut with a premise that's wryly attuned to budding boy-girl dynamics. But their literal, windy, and patronizingly cute prose ("And then came kindergarten, where the big kids go.... And nap time? That was gone, baby, gone") makes it all the more fortunate that Davenier (Miss Lina's Ballerinas) is on board. As always, her stylish watercolors delight, conveying empathy and humor in balletic, gossamer brush strokes, making the pages fly by and even the most heavy-handed messaging ("After all, there's a little pirate and princess in all of us") feel light on its feet. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
Ivy and Fletch were best friends. They had grown up together and were now beginning kindergarten together. They played together at recess, enjoying a game they made up called Twisty Cakes. The other children in the class formed two cliques. The boys were pirates and the girls were princesses. Ivy and Fletch join each group but when Ivy is captured by the pirates, Fletch realizes she is scared and tells them to let her go. Because Ivy and Fletch want to get back to playing with one another, they encourage everyone to join them at Twisty Cakes. Before long, all the children are playing together. The mother/daughter author team builds compassion for Ivy and Fletch's plight in this common childhood occurrence by showing how their friendship grew. Contemporary phrasing, such as "gone, baby, gone," gives a fresh feeling to the storytelling. Davenier's illustrations show the exuberance of this duo and their classmates. Davenier successfully employs lots of swirly lines, strong body language and facial expressions to denote action. Young children will identify with the problem. The ending reminds us that we can always find something we have in common with everyone else. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2—Ivy and Fletch have a very special relationship. They had been friends since birth and played together exclusively until kindergarten. Now their relationship is tested. Unlike nursery school, the boys and girls segregate themselves. The boys play pirates, and the girls play princesses during recess. Their worlds never collide until Ivy is captured by the pirates and Fletch comes to her rescue. The other children are shocked to see a boy stand up for a girl and it is difficult for them to understand that the two are friends. Ivy and Fletch proceed to join both factions and teach them games to play together. Davenier illustrates the story with kid-friendly sketched figures in pastel and watercolor, and her art shows much motion and emotion. Unfortunately, the delivery of the message is not well done. The text seems to have been created for a slightly older audience as some dialogue doesn't seem on target in a book meant for five-year-olds. Children may find the story too lengthy and lacking in appeal. This one misses the mark.—Diane Antezzo, Ridgefield Library, CT
Kirkus Reviews

When the pink and blue rules of kindergarten threaten best friends, they have to make a choice.

Five-year-olds Ivy and Fletch have been friends their whole lives. They have always been best pals, even holding hands during naptime together at preschool. But kindergarten is different. At the beginning, Fletch and Ivy swing together at recess, but soon the lines are drawn. The boys are on the pirate team, and the girls quickly form the princess team. The pink and blue war is on, with one lifelong friendship its first casualty. The mother-and-daughter team tells the story, but it's Davenier's energetic pencil-and-watercolor illustrations that give the story its heart. She captures all the action and emotion of the playground with a few deft pencil lines. Fletch and Ivy rarely lose sight of each other, but their friendship is appropriately platonic. Though the story ends as expected, it's nice to see that they figure out things for themselves, with no adult intervention, giving young readers some good ideas for when gender roles exert themselves in school.

Teachers especially will turn to this good-natured story; it will help open up a discussion about friendship that many children will profit from.(Picture book. 4-8)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525422297
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 9/15/2011
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 665,268
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jill Kargman (www.jillkargman.com) has written for TV and film, and is a New York Times bestselling novelist. She wrote this story with her daughter, Sadie, inspired by a kindergarten playground incident. Jill and Sadie live in New York City.

Christine Davenier is the New York Times bestselling illustrator of The Very Fairy Princess by Julie Andrews and Emma Hamilton. She lives in Paris, France.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2013

    Loved this book. We received it as a gift at our daughter's 3rd

    Loved this book. We received it as a gift at our daughter's 3rd birthday party (theme: Princess Pirate) and it's one of the kid books her dad and I actually enjoy reading to our kiddo (it includes descriptions like "walk like a zombie" which we used ourselves to describe the toddling phase). It has a good story, is well written, and the illustrations are great. The only disappointing thing is that Jill Kargman has not written any other books for children. 

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