The Pirates Next Door

( 1 )

Overview

The Jolley-Rogers have traded in the high seas for suburban life.

Meet the Jolley-Rogers — a pirate family who is moving to Dull-on-Sea, a quiet seaside town, while they fix up their ship. This unusual family soon has the whole neighborhood gossiping. Defying the grown-ups, Matilda becomes friends with young pirate Jim Lad. When the JolleyRogers return to sea, the town realizes that they were wrong to assume the worst when it is discovered that the pirates have buried treasure ...

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Overview

The Jolley-Rogers have traded in the high seas for suburban life.

Meet the Jolley-Rogers — a pirate family who is moving to Dull-on-Sea, a quiet seaside town, while they fix up their ship. This unusual family soon has the whole neighborhood gossiping. Defying the grown-ups, Matilda becomes friends with young pirate Jim Lad. When the JolleyRogers return to sea, the town realizes that they were wrong to assume the worst when it is discovered that the pirates have buried treasure in everyone's yard. The neighbors are thrilled, but Matilda is sad to have lost her new friend, until she discovers her own treasure — a pen pal!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Good fences make good neighbors, but pirates? Not so much. At least not according to the residents of the tiny, proper town of Dull-on-Sea (“Sister city: Ennui-sur-Mer”), most of whom are horrified when the Jolley-Rogers family roll into town on their galleon-on-wheels. “Isn’t it disgraceful, on such a lovely street?/ Why, they don’t even try to keep their front lawn looking neat!” Next-door neighbor Matilda, however, is thrilled by all the excitement, and she befriends pirate boy Jim Lad. Once the family’s ship is, well, shipshape, the Jolley-Rogers set sail, leaving buried treasure (marked by an X, of course) in their wake as a goodwill gesture (this is not the first town that’s rallied against them). Duddle’s (The Pirate Cruncher) rhymes have the buoyant, singsong quality of a sea shanty, but are weighed down by a fairly preachy plot. His cinematic and richly developed digital artwork, however, is well-suited to the absurdity of the subject matter, and he does an excellent job of exaggerating the pirates’ slightly menacing yet silly appearance and the concerned glances and raised eyebrows of the unwelcoming community. Ages 3–up. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
Veiled in humor, but hard not to read as a parable that tweaks narrow minds and parochial attitudes.
—Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
When a new family moves in next door, Tilda is hoping for a girl her age. Instead, to shake up her town of Dull-on-Sea, the Jolley-Rogers arrive on a pirate ship complete with Jim, a young pirate boy, and his three-year-old sister. Rollicking rhymes relate Tilda's delight and her parents' reservations. The teacher in school and the folks in the village all have complaints about the pirate family. But when their ship is repaired and they sail away, they leave big surprises behind. And the best of all for Tilda is still to come. Digitally produced scenes of the village depict a typical suburban town invaded by the rowdy pirate family. The town folks and the pirates are cartoon-y characters with large round eyes and expressive faces. Their interactions are humorously cinemagraphic. A bird's-eye view of backyards opens in a double foldout to show the surprises, adding to the fun. Do not miss the contrasting front and back end papers and the poster inside the jacket. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2—Life for Matilda in the town of Dull-on-Sea is, well, dull. Just when she is wishing that things were less boring, a family of pirates moves in next door. There is a boy her age, Jim, and their completely unconventional lifestyle lifts the ennui from the gloomy town. But one young girl's thrill is the rest of the neighborhood's nightmare, as rumors and the community's aesthetic demise lead to a full-on campaign to ship the Jolley-Rogers back where they came from. Tilda and Jim do not seem concerned by the disapproval of others; he accepts it as a matter of course (Dull-on-Sea is merely a pit stop for his family as they repair their ship, parked next to the house) and Tilda is a stouthearted advocate for pirates. Yet this lighthearted story belies a wretched truth—that grown-ups are judgmental, though they can be easily swayed when they find buried treasure in their backyards. Fans of pirates won't really care about the mixed message; they will be having too much fun listening to the rhyming text and looking at the details in the caricatured pictures. Pirate paraphernalia abounds, and there is even a hint that the complaints manager at Town Hall is a pirate himself, unbeknownst to the locals. The layout, combining spreads and cartoon blocking, keeps the story moving and reinforces the idea of different voices gossiping about the town's eccentric new residents. A jolly good tale for one-on-one sharing.—Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA
Kirkus Reviews
A newly moved-in family with a different lifestyle gets a hostile reception from the oh-so-respectable neighbors. Most of them, anyway. As in a dream come true, dazzled young Matilda welcomes Jim Lad, who "had no shoes, an eye patch, and a wooden-legged dog… / a pirate ship with treasure chests and barrels full of grog!" The arrival of Jim's family in aptly named Dull-on-Sea is more of a nightmare for Matilda's parents and the other adults though, who complain vociferously, spread rumors ("They never wash. / Their kids have lice. / They also just don't smell that nice."), and petition Town Hall for an eviction. "Before you know it, there'll be more--we'll all have pirates right next door!" Rendering every detail with concrete exactitude, Duddle (Pirate Cruncher, 2010) depicts Matilda and the pirates having wild pirate fun as comically dismayed townies huddle and recoil. No worries: the Jolley-Rogers are only ashore temporarily to make some repairs, and one morning they're gone--leaving large X's in everyone's yard marking, as a double gatefold reveals, buried chests of treasure to show that "pirates aren't so bad." Veiled in humor, but hard not to read as a parable that tweaks narrow minds and parochial attitudes. (Picture book. 6-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763658427
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2012
  • Pages: 44
  • Sales rank: 380,741
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 9.98 (w) x 11.52 (h) x 0.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonny Duddle is an illustrator and concept artist for films, including The Pirates! by Aardman animation. His first book, The Pirate Cruncher, was long-listed for the Kate Greenaway Medal. Having sailed the high seas in a square-rigger, Jonny is now in danger of becoming a landlubber. He lives with his wife and their daughters in Wales.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 5, 2012

    This book is fantastic! We borrowed it from our local library,

    This book is fantastic! We borrowed it from our local library, and my son fell in love. He loved it so much he requested his own copy. (My son is 3 years 10 months)

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