Pirates Don't Say Please!

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Overview

A young boy learns the cost of his scallywag ways. Everyone knows pirates are ruthless, swashbuckling adventurers with no time for manners. Everyone, that is, except Mom. When she sends Pirate Billy Nelson to the brig, otherwise known as his room, he goes on an imaginary journey where he discovers being polite is more valuable than all the loot he could plunder.

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Overview

A young boy learns the cost of his scallywag ways. Everyone knows pirates are ruthless, swashbuckling adventurers with no time for manners. Everyone, that is, except Mom. When she sends Pirate Billy Nelson to the brig, otherwise known as his room, he goes on an imaginary journey where he discovers being polite is more valuable than all the loot he could plunder.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Pirates may not say please, but neither do they say anything particularly diverting in Knowlton’s (I Know a Librarian Who Chewed on a Word) flat-footed, manners-themed story. Dressed as a pirate, a boy named Billy ignores his mother’s request that he wash his hands before lunch. “Back away from me bounty, poppet, and I’ll spare your life,” he shouts, stealing a chicken leg from the kitchen. His mother, in turn, banishes him to his room: “To the brig, you scallywag... You’ll be set free when you return my polite son.” Billy lives out his pirate fantasies in an imaginary trip, where his ill manners alienate those who would have helped him. However, Billy does just fine on his own, stealing a boat and finding buried treasure, making his about-face in the book’s final scene both abrupt and unlikely. Tans’s (The Emperor’s Army) paintings, though somewhat unpolished, smoothly bridge the story’s transitions from contemporary to swashbuckling times. The art’s closeup focus on Billy and his shifting emotions give a sure sense of the boy’s rambunctious personality. Ages 5–8. (Nov.)
Children's Literature - Sarah Maury Swan
Pirate Billy Nelson tells his mother that pirates don't wash their hands before they eat, but she will have none of it. She had not invited a pirate to lunch; rather she had invited her polite son. Off to the brig with the pirate without any lunch then, says his mother. While stuck in his bedroom brig, Pirate Billy spies an elephant in a row boat and promises to share his treasure if the elephant will help him escape. But when Pirate Billy refuses to say thank you, the elephant drops the rude fellow on a spit of land. Billy's parrot repeats some of the pirate's words. The intrepid pirate follows his parrot pal to a busy port where they pick out a ship to board. Unfortunately, the captain is not interested in letting rude pirates on board his ship. Billy finds an unattended ship which he sails to leeward side of Jamaica and recovers his treasure. He falls asleep after playing with it for a while, but wakes up when he smells his mother cooking dinner. He is wearing a crown and instantly becomes a charming, well-behaved prince. When he comes out of his room and says please to his mother, the parrot asks "please?" Prince Billy informs him that princes always say please. There are plenty of nods to Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are. This is a sweet story about manners and the illustrations are lovely. Reviewer: Sarah Maury Swan
School Library Journal
Gr 1–2—Pirate-costume-clad Billy Nelson refuses to use his manners at lunch, so Mom sends him to his room. During his imaginary journey, he encounters an elephant and then an adult pirate who both unsuccessfully demand that he be polite. Finally, like Sendak's Max, the young pirate hears and smells signs of home, whereupon he unearths jewels and a crown to trigger a sudden transformation of costume and attitude. "Dear Queen, your prince has arrived with hands washed. Many thanks for the banquet. May the feast begin, please." Knowlton's tale is heavy in pirate vocabulary: "bounty," "poppet," "cutlass," etc., and Tans's paintings vary in finesse. The face-off between Billy and the earring-wearing elephant is spot-on, but some illustrations of the boy are less well done. This one is too uneven to be deemed a treasure.—Gay Lynn Van Vleck, Henrico County Library, Glen Allen, VA
Kirkus Reviews
In an obvious and clumsy remake of Where the Wild Things Are, a rude young "pirate" is consigned to his room until he learns better manners. Dressed in a store-bought pirate outfit and waving a toy cutlass, Billy's obnoxious "Back away from me bounty, poppet" to his mother--visible in Tans' bland, literal paintings only from the neck down--results in lunchtime banishment to his bedroom. It is soon transformed into a succession of ships and nautical settings. The author's attempt to sidestep potential controversy by having Billy sing out "Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of scum!" really only calls attention to the original's reference to alcohol, and his stuffed parrot's cries of "Booty! Booty!" will definitely induce giggles in modern audiences, for whom the word has a meaning that is likely not what was intended. Waking up hungry to the scent of "a dinner fit for a prince," Billy finally makes a quick change to another (also plainly store-bought) costume for a grand re-entrance: "Dear Queen, your prince has arrived with hands washed. Many thanks for the banquet." At least he was let out of his room. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781589809826
  • Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/14/2012
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.70 (w) x 11.10 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

LAURIE LAZZARO KNOWLTON has authored more than 35 books. Her best-selling children's book Why Cowboys Sleep with Their Boots On won the Premier Print Award from Eastman Kodak. Art from another one of her picture books, Red, White, and Blue, has been displayed by the Robert L. and Posy Huebner Collection and was highlighted on Martha Stewart's radio station. An international speaker, Knowlton loves kicking back on her ranch, Roots 'n Wings.

Adrian Tans is an accomplished artist who also enjoys traveling. He is the illustrator of Pelican's Pirate Treasure Hunt!, Witches' Night Before Halloween, and Kick the Cowboy. Tans lives in Woodstock, Vermont.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2012

    Love Pirates Don't Say Please! Kids want to hear it over and ove

    Love Pirates Don't Say Please! Kids want to hear it over and over again! Jack liked it so much we gave it as a birthday gift to a friend, along with a pirate costume. Billy's adventures are  fun, fun, fun!

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