Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC

( 4 )


The captain of this brave and bumbling pirate crew has ordered them to capture the entire alphabet--and they'll walk the plank if they're missing a single letter! Now these swashbuckling mateys are embarking on an alphabet adventure unlike any other, and they won't (ahem, can't) rest until they've found an A, a Z, and everything in between.

June Sobel's hilarious text and Henry Cole's adventurous animal ...

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Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC

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The captain of this brave and bumbling pirate crew has ordered them to capture the entire alphabet--and they'll walk the plank if they're missing a single letter! Now these swashbuckling mateys are embarking on an alphabet adventure unlike any other, and they won't (ahem, can't) rest until they've found an A, a Z, and everything in between.

June Sobel's hilarious text and Henry Cole's adventurous animal pirates harmonize in an irresistible book for alphabet-learning, pirate-loving kids everywhere.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Those looking for an "M is for Matey" type of treatment will have to plunder elsewhere, as Sobel's (B Is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC) alphabet does its playful swashbuckling in a slightly less traditional manner. True enough, Sobel's bossy pirate captain (depicted as an alligator wearing a rubber-ducky inner-tube around his waist) sets the seafaring adventure afloat when he roars quasi pirate-speak from the deck, " `R's not enough./ We need other letters/ to make us tough.'/ `Let's sail far away/ to find ABC's.' " A motley, if enthusiastic crew of yellow-toothed animal buccaneers rallies to his cry for a treasure hunt, chronicled in the jaunty rhyming story on the subsequent pages. "The anchor went into an A!/ A B floated by on the crystal clear bay." Young readers will find plenty of maritime and pirate-centric booty, including doubloons, hook, landlubber, yo-ho-ho-ho, and certainly X marking a special spot as they spy each letter printed in a bold red typeface. Cole's (Dinorella) rollicking, sweetly comic watercolors capture typically imagined details from a pirate band-deck swabbing, a tyrannical leader, walking the plank. And Sobel's action-filled story line gives the artist lots of leeway to be creative with other funny bits, too. Ahoy! A nifty concept book. Ages 2-5. (May) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
What an appropriate book to take on a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina where Bluebeard is said to have roamed. "R" roared the captain—a big green crocodile with a hook for his left hand and a parrot on his shoulder. We need other letters to make the alphabet—so the motley crew is sent on a hunt for the ABCs. As they head for land on their alphabet quest, some of the letters are easy to spot, such as the big "A" that secures the anchor and the "B" floating near the barracudas. Cole has given the crew great expressions and has provided as much humor as possible in the drawings. Our captain even has a peg leg to go along with his hook, cutlass, and black hat. The yellow ducky inner tube that he wears around his waist makes him even more amusing. The crew manages to get all the letters except the last in the alphabet. The irate captain declares that they will walk the plank if the do not find the last one. Happily the story ends with a lot of "Zs." While the book is amusing, it will not offer much of a challenge for kids joining the hunt for the letters of the alphabet. 2006, Harcourt, Ages 2 to 5.
—Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-These animal pirates decide that they need more than the letter "R" ("R's not enough./We need other letters/to help make us tough"), so they set off to find the remaining 25. Led by a crocodile captain (with a hook, no less), the band of buccaneers searches far and wide to complete their mission. Some letters are found near items that begin with that letter, e.g., an anchor, gold, or a parrot. Others are in situations that involve the letter in action-"Q" is questioned, "U" is underwater. Still others are described, as in the case of the "nimble N." Some alphabet books struggle to incorporate "X," but as any young pirate knows, "X" marks the spot on a treasure map. The rhyming text is more suited to reading aloud as it includes a number of words that would have beginning readers asking for assistance. The colorful cartoon illustrations encourage children to participate by finding the sought-after letters, which appear in bright red uppercase in each scene. This alphabet adventure is sure to capture audience attention at a pirate-themed storyhour, and it will be enjoyed by individual borrowers.-Maura Bresnahan, High Plain Elementary School, Andover, MA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Joining the flotilla of volumes sailing along beneath the Jolly Roger, this alphabet takes a pirate crew with literary ambitions (of a sort) on a quest. " 'R,' roared the captain. 'R's not enough. We need other letters to help make us tough. Let's sail far away to find ABC's. Bring me back D's, E's, F's, and some G's.' " Driven on by a crocodilian commander outfitted with both a hook and a rubber-ducky inner tube, a set of animal swabbies sail off to an island where, after Anchoring in a Bay, they proceed to gather a Cannonball, Doubloons and so on, capped by a cabinful of Z's at weary day's end. Just as Cole tucks easy-to-find letter forms into his cartoon scenes, Sobel artfully inserts multiple examples of each letter into her lines of verse for observant young readers to spot. Something of a sound-alike to Bill Martin Jr.'s classic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom (1989, illus by Lois Ehlert), this will have young tars and lubbers alike happily signing on for the voyage. (Picture book. 5-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780152167325
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 5/1/2006
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 523,054
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Lexile: AD520L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 10.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

JUNE SOBEL is the talented author of B Is for Bulldozer, illustrated by Melissa Iwai. She lives in Westlake Village, California.

HENRY COLE is the award-winning illustrator of more than forty books for children, including Some Smug Slug by Pamela Duncan Edwards, and Naughty Little Monkeys by Jim Aylesworth. He lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Do not waste your money

    It is not worth the money for the nook version. It is very hard to follow. The pages and words do not match.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2010

    My thoughts

    (6 year old review) There is lots and lots of letters. There are four animals. They are on a sea. It is a good book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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