Overview

Ahoy there! Will this sweet little pirate find his place aboard The Rusty Squid or will he be forced to walk the plank? When Small Saul joins the crew of The Rusty Squid, it doesn't take long for the other pirates to notice something is very different about this tiny fellow. He was born to sing sea shanties, bake pineapple upside down cakes and redecorate, not to hold a sword and plunder. Being rough and tough just isn't in his nature. Small Saul learned at Pirate College that pirates only care about three ...
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Overview

Ahoy there! Will this sweet little pirate find his place aboard The Rusty Squid or will he be forced to walk the plank? When Small Saul joins the crew of The Rusty Squid, it doesn't take long for the other pirates to notice something is very different about this tiny fellow. He was born to sing sea shanties, bake pineapple upside down cakes and redecorate, not to hold a sword and plunder. Being rough and tough just isn't in his nature. Small Saul learned at Pirate College that pirates only care about three things: their ship, being tough and lots and lots of treasure. Can Small Saul show these ruffians that despite his gentle spirit, he's worth his weight in gold? With treasure chests of laughs, Small Saul's high-seas adventure is a light-hearted celebration of individuality, perseverance and being true to one's self.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This misfit comedy pits a sweet-tempered pirate against a boatful of ruffians. The diminutive, bespectacled pirate Saul tears up at his graduation from Pirate College; on board The Rusty Squid, he offers bandages to injured pirates, flowers and cookies to maidens whose jewels his colleagues have stolen, and nutritious meals to his crew. For his efforts, the captain throws him off the ship. As a result, "mold began to build up on the ship's deck. The crew was back to eating bland gruel and rat-nibbled bread." Spires's (Binky the Space Cat) prose is smartly paced, and her ink and watercolor spots and panels amplify the text with gentle humor. (As the pirates realize how much Saul has done for them, a rat turns Saul's trusty bandage box upside down—it's empty.) When The Rusty Squid returns to rescue Saul, he forgives the crew promptly: "They were pirates, after all. Throwing people overboard is just something they do." Spires does a credible job of figuring out how a pirate like Saul might fit in, and there's plenty of raucous entertainment to keep pirate-lovers happy. Ages 3–7–. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Small Saul has always loved the sea. When the Navy rejects him as too small, he enrolls in Pirate College. But there he finds that although he is good at deck swabbing and singing sea shanties, being tough is not in his nature. So when he barely graduates, he has trouble finding a ship to sail on and then proving his worth as a pirate. Saul tries so hard at his swabbing and singing that he doesn't even notice when the captain pushes him overboard. But then the crew realizes, despite his lack of toughness, how much Saul had done to make their ship a home. They go back to retrieve him, making a happy ending to this humorous picture of pirate life. Black ink line drawings and watercolors in many vignettes and full-page scenes illustrate the brief text. This is a comedy with characters created with exaggerated shapes, expressions, and costumes; the captain sports a peg leg and skull and crossbones on his hat. As the pirates tower over him, Saul keeps busy, his tiny black eyes only dots behind his large glasses. Spires has fun here with stereotypes while showing how Saul stays true to himself. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—Small Saul is determined to spend his life at sea. He is too short to join the Navy, but not to enroll in Pirate College. After earning a diploma that states "You ARRR a Pirate," he heads down to the docks with a smile on his face, a plant tucked under his arm, and a rat by his side. Although he is willing to join any crew, the only pirates to make room for him are those on the dilapidated Rusty Squid. He knows that pirates only care about three things: their ship, being tough, and lots and lots of treasure. Once onboard, he tries to prove his mettle by making the ship more homey, getting a bunny tattoo, and baking while on kitchen duty, but when the other pirates see the results, the captain pushes him overboard. With Small Saul out of their lives, they can continue in the "old pirate ways." But when the smell becomes unbearable in the cabins and the food indigestible at mealtimes, they go back and rescue Saul. They realize he may not be like them, but that his individuality should be appreciated and accepted. Ink and watercolor cartoons exaggerate the differences between Saul and the stereotypical pirates. His gentle appearance and behavior (handing out breath mints to the crew) are opposite to what readers have come to expect. A great book to start off a pirate-themed storytime.—Tanya Boudreau, Cold Lake Public Library, AB, Canada
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews
Small Saul's in love with the sea. Unfortunately, his attachment to things maritime doesn't get him past the Navy's height requirement. Pirates aren't as picky, so Saul enrolls in Pirate College. He doesn't excel in any classes: too easily distracted in Treasure Map Interpretation, lacks focus in Looting: The Basics. Perseverance nets him his pirating diploma but doesn't get him a berth on any ship...except The Rusty Squid. In no time, his shipmates discover Saul's not your average pirate. He offers baked goods to kidnapped ladies and breath mints to the Captain. Saul knows there are three things pirates love: the ship, being tough and lots of treasure. His frilly ship-improvement project...lands him head down in a bilge-bucket. He can't fight to achieve that tough look, so he tries a tattoo...a bunny. While distracted by pondering the possibilities of treasure acquisition, Saul's knocked off the ship by the Captain. It's not long before the pirates realize that, different though he is, Saul's a treasure rare as gold. Thankfully, he's quick to forgive and ready with more baked goods. Spires' tale of an unconventional pirate might travel familiar ground, but her dry humor, so wonderfully displayed in the Binky graphic novels, elevates Saul to great heights. The cartoon watercolor illustrations are always hilariously at odds with the understated text. Charrrh-ming. (Picture book. 5-8)
Kirkus Reviews
Small Saul's in love with the sea. Unfortunately, his attachment to things maritime doesn't get him past the Navy's height requirement. Pirates aren't as picky, so Saul enrolls in Pirate College. He doesn't excel in any classes: too easily distracted in Treasure Map Interpretation, lacks focus in Looting: The Basics. Perseverance nets him his pirating diploma but doesn't get him a berth on any ship...except The Rusty Squid. In no time, his shipmates discover Saul's not your average pirate. He offers baked goods to kidnapped ladies and breath mints to the Captain. Saul knows there are three things pirates love: the ship, being tough and lots of treasure. His frilly ship-improvement project...lands him head down in a bilge-bucket. He can't fight to achieve that tough look, so he tries a tattoo...a bunny. While distracted by pondering the possibilities of treasure acquisition, Saul's knocked off the ship by the Captain. It's not long before the pirates realize that, different though he is, Saul's a treasure rare as gold. Thankfully, he's quick to forgive and ready with more baked goods. Spires' tale of an unconventional pirate might travel familiar ground, but her dry humor, so wonderfully displayed in the Binky graphic novels, elevates Saul to great heights. The cartoon watercolor illustrations are always hilariously at odds with the understated text. Charrrh-ming. (Picture book. 5-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781554539598
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/3/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: NOOK Kids Read to Me
  • Sales rank: 854,854
  • Age range: 3 - 7 Years
  • File size: 12 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

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