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Roger, the Jolly Pirate

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Overview

Roger is too jolly to be a pirate.

He does not scowl, growl, or strike fear into sailors' hearts like his pirate friends. So poor Roger is sent away whenever there is any real pirating to be done. Then one day, in the middle of a great battle, Jolly Roger cooks up a wonderful idea . . . and pirate ships will never be the same again!

While his shipmates face their toughest enemy, Roger has a chance to prove himself in a most ...

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Overview

Roger is too jolly to be a pirate.

He does not scowl, growl, or strike fear into sailors' hearts like his pirate friends. So poor Roger is sent away whenever there is any real pirating to be done. Then one day, in the middle of a great battle, Jolly Roger cooks up a wonderful idea . . . and pirate ships will never be the same again!

While his shipmates face their toughest enemy, Roger has a chance to prove himself in a most unlikely way after being banished, as usual, below decks during the fighting.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Brett Helquist, illustrator for Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, sets sail with this swashbuckling picture book about a positive-thinking pirate. Captured in dramatic scenes of patch-eyed, stern-looking pirates always ready for fighting, Helquist's tale centers around Roger, a "lousy pirate" whose chipper demeanor means banishment below deck when there's pillaging to be done. So when justice-seeking British officers decide to overtake the ship, the aptly named "Jolly Roger" decides to help out in the only way he knows how -- to bake a cake. Unfortunately, Roger's iron pot is actually a cannon, and when he lights the wick to get the baking started, the exploding ingredients send a flour-and-soot-faced Roger into battle and the Brits jumping for safety. A witty read that will go particularly well in storytimes with Melinda Long and David Shannon's How I Became a Pirate, this seafaring romp might leave you in stitches the next time you see a pirate's flag.
Children's Literature
Back in the days before famous pirates like Black Beard, there was a lousy pirate named Roger. Here he is sent down into the hold whenever there is serious pirate business, because he can't tell starboard from larboard and he is too pleasant to make anyone afraid of him. His shipmates call him Jolly Roger, and not nicely. The ship he sails on is "the terror of the high seas." When their only worth enemy, the Admiral, attacks, Roger is sent below. There, while trying to bake a cake to mollify his mates, he causes a double-page explosion that frightens the Admiral and his men away. To honor this absurd event, the sailors make a special flag, now known as the Jolly Roger. The subtle humor of the story is magnified by the not-so-subtle double-page scenes of scowling pirates doing dastardly things and of Roger's zany ultimate misadventure. The pictures emphasize the rugged life at sea, the confusion of battle, even the ornate elegance of the Admiral's uniform, all with exaggerated comedy. The depiction of Roger after his explosive entrance is particularly funny. Words and music for "The Ballad of Jolly Roger" are included to extend the fun. 2004, HarperCollins Publishers, and Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-Roger, a "lousy pirate," is derisively given the nickname "Jolly Roger" by his shipmates. Although he tries to be a proper buccaneer, he is inevitably sent below deck whenever there is serious marauding to be done. When the Admiral attacks the ship, Roger is once again sent to the hold. In an attempt to win the favor of his crewmates, he bakes a cake in a cannon he mistakes for a pot. The explosive result-Roger flying above deck amid flour, smoke, and powder, looking exactly like a screaming skeleton-sends the Admiral's men leaping off their vessel convinced that the pirates have a ghost on their side. In recognition of his feat, his shipmates stitch up a flag that has gone down in history as the "Jolly Roger." This goofy pourquoi tale is told with a rhythm and bounce that begs to be read aloud. Helquist uses cinematic perspectives and compositions in his watercolor, pencil, and pastel illustrations-extreme close-ups, split-screen glimpses, and sweeping full-bleed vistas are interspersed with views akin to peeping through a telescope. His success at capturing motion in many of the pictures adds to the movielike quality of the art. Pirate lovers and children who enjoy a good adventure will relish the climactic battle scene. A rousing and humorous tale.-Marge Loch-Wouters, Menasha's Public Library, WI Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Helquist takes a break from illustrating "A Series of Unfortunate Events" for a solo debut, offering an eye-rolling account of the pirate flag's origin. Dubbed "Jolly Roger" by his shipmates-and "they didn't' mean it nicely"-an inept pirate is sent belowdecks when the ship is attacked by a British Man-O-War. In an effort to increase his social standing, Roger decides to bake a cake in an unused cannon-so when he blasts into sight, a ragged figure covered with white flour and burnt powder, the frightened attackers flee, and his grateful chums sew up a flag in his honor. Sporting a gap-toothed grin, argyle socks, and a chicken on his shoulder, Roger's definitely a misfit among his scowling, beetle-browed mates, but then, looks-not to mention a continuing inability to tell "the starboard from the larboard, the windward from the leeward, or the mizzen from the main"-aren't everything. A bit of spindrift for young pirate fans, capped by a brief ballad (not seen). (Picture book. 7-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780064438513
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/8/2007
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 1,025,998
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

Brett Helquist's celebrated art has graced books from the charming Roger, The Jolly Pirate, to the alarming New York Times bestselling A Series of Unfortunate Events, to the cozy E. B. White Read-Aloud Award finalist bedtime for bear. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2004

    A MUST for Misfits, Outcasts, & Pirate Lovers!

    Created by the illustrator of the Lemony Snicket series, this rollicking and imaginative story is a ¿must¿ for any adventure lover, particularly a pirate lover who wonders about the origin of the frightening, skull and crossbones ¿Jolly Roger¿ flag. Helquist¿s fictional explanation even provides an important lesson for any child was treated or treated another child like a misfit or outcast: Be nice to misfits because they may be very helpful to you one day! Here, Roger is a ¿lousy pirate¿ who ¿couldn¿t tell the starboard from the larboard, the windward from the leeward, or the mizzen from the main.¿ A misfit who ¿smiled instead of scowling,¿ ¿grinned instead of growling,¿ and ¿never struck fear in any sailor¿s heart.¿ The ¿real pirates¿ disapprovingly call him ¿Jolly Roger¿. Whenever there is ¿serious pirating to be done,¿ he is banished to the ship¿s hold. But, bumbling Roger manages to become an unlikely hero. Helquist tells the story in lively, whimsical, humorous verse that¿s flawlessly matched by his hilarious, lively, and bold illustrations in watercolor, pencil, and pastel. The ¿Ballad of Jolly Roger¿ provides a nice finish. Highly recommended for ages 4 and up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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