Pirates, Ho!

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Overview

We are pirates, pirates, ho! Swashbuckling pirates sail the seas, braving storms, battles and, other pirates! From the first mate down to the cabin boy, they are rascals through and through. But at night, by the light of the moon, they tell each other ghost stories and guess who ends up being scared? Stephen Gilpin’s hand-drawn and digitally colored artwork is a bold, perfect match with Sarah L.Thomson’s rollicking, rhyming text.
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Overview

We are pirates, pirates, ho! Swashbuckling pirates sail the seas, braving storms, battles and, other pirates! From the first mate down to the cabin boy, they are rascals through and through. But at night, by the light of the moon, they tell each other ghost stories and guess who ends up being scared? Stephen Gilpin’s hand-drawn and digitally colored artwork is a bold, perfect match with Sarah L.Thomson’s rollicking, rhyming text.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Mary Hynes-Berry
Given the current pirate-mania inspired by Disney, the animation feel of the illustrations for this book and its limited rhyming text make it likely that it will be snapped up by pirate lovers between the ages of four and eight. It is equally likely, however, that most preschoolers are not at the developmental level to appreciate the fairly sophisticated message that even the fiercest pirate can be afraid once the ghost stories start. The text is kept simple with a large amount of alliteration and rhyming. Younger children may find it difficult to make the inferential leap from a description of the present to a tale from the past of a particularly nasty pirate. This is a book that is not really a good candidate for a classroom read-aloud. It is much better suited to a family collection where little ones can study the pictures and ask as many questions as they need to feel reassured. Bad-dream prone preschoolers may need a number of readings before they are okay treating this as a bedtime story. Reviewer: Mary Hynes-Berry
School Library Journal

K-Gr 2

Thomson's unpredictable verse should be rehearsed before being read aloud to maximize its impact and its humor. For example, this is one such bouncy passage: "A skull keeps watch from our flag of bones./Our swords are steel and our hearts are stone/as we send our foes to Davy Jones./We are pirates, pirates, ho!" The language is littered with terms like "thieving," "lying," "rascally," and "cut-throat"-plus the ever-popular "avast" and "ahoy." Gilpin's wacky cartoons have a retro, take-no-prisoners abandon. The motley crew members run up riggings, make enemies walk the plank, drive their ship through perilous seas, and have a generally threatening appearance-until one takes a closer look at their faces and postures, which are just plain adorable. The most conspicuous dent in the pirates' armor presents itself in the gloom of night, when they tell each other ghost stories by the light of the eerie, cratered moon. Eyes widen, mouths fall open, muscles tense: "We are pirates, pirates-YIKES!" Although pirate books abound, this funny, fabulously illustrated rhyme is certainly worth adding.-Susan Weitz, formerly at Spencer-Van Etten School District, Spencer, NY

Kirkus Reviews
"A skull keeps watch from our flag of bones. / Our swords are steel and our hearts are stone / as we send our foes to Davy Jones. / We are pirates, pirates, ho!" Bold talk from this crew of scurvy sea-dogs ("Peg-Leg Tom and Angus Black, / Dreadful Nell and One-Eyed Jack"), but let the sun go down and bare mentions of ghosts and cursed ships in the night sends them all scurrying to their hammocks, "hidden from shadows, safe in our beds, / with blankets pulled tight over our heads." The illustrations are a mismatch for the rousing rhyme, however; showing more grins than glowers, the bland, very clean cartoon pirates in Gilpin's nautical scenes look less like brigands than teachers and kids in costume. Budding buccaneers will respond more heartily to the equally vulnerable but leering knaves in the likes of Bill Harley's Dirty Joe the Pirate (2008), illustrated by Jack E. Davis, or Melinda Long's How I Became a Pirate (2003), illustrated by David Shannon. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780761454359
  • Publisher: Amazon Childrens Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/28/2008
  • Pages: 29
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.30 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Sarah L. Thomson has published more than twenty-five books for young readers. She has created fiction and nonfiction, poetry and prose, fantasy and realism for age levels from kindergarten through high school. Her books include an adventure about two friends who rescue a dragon’s egg; a picture-book biography of Abraham Lincoln; and a young readers’ version of the best-selling title Three Cups of Tea; along with poetry for picture- book readers and nonfiction I Can Read! titles about tigers, whales, sharks, gorillas, and snakes. She is the author of Pirates, Ho!, illustrated by Stephen Gilpin, and Cinderella, illustrated by Nicoletta Ceccoli. Sarah lives in Portland, Maine, with her daughter, who helps with inspiration, and her two cats, who help by lying on the piece of paper that she needs most. Visit her online: www.sarahlthomson.com

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 9, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Ever since becoming a parent I¿ve bought and read more children¿

    Ever since becoming a parent I’ve bought and read more children’s books then I thought possible. And all of this before by son has learned how to talk properly! I’ve realized that with the wealth of titles and content out there it can be hard for parents to decide which books would be best worth their time and money. However, of all the books I’ve gotten this far I don’t think I’ve personally enjoyed any single one more than this book about Pirates. Pirates are, of course, one of the little boys’ favorite characters, but even as an adult I was able to really enjoy going through this book. It’s written in verse, and a pretty good verse at that. There is really no plotline as such, but I am not really bothered by it. The narrative voice is very original and authentic. The book manages to strike the perfect balance between the fearsome and ghoulish on one hand, and innocently playful on the other. This is probably one book that I see myself rereading often over the next few years. 




    Another thing that I really loved about this book are the illustrations. The characters are both whimsical and mildly menacing looking. I love the crisp illustrative style of this book a lot, and will probably look into other works illustrated by Stephen Gilpin. 




    I only wish that I got the hardcover version of this book. My paperback edition is already showing too many signs of wear and use. 




    Overall, this is a wonderful children’s book that can be fun to read for both the parents and the children. Highly recommended. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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