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Pirates on the Farm

Pirates on the Farm

4.0 6
by Denette Fretz, Gene Barretta (Illustrator)

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“No one ever imagined that five swashbuckling pirates would settle in our proper little southern community. But they did.”

When pirates move in next door, life on the farm is bound to get interesting. But will the unadventurous Sanders family be able to handle the pirates’ bad manners, ghastly grub, and outrageous antics? Or will they learn the


“No one ever imagined that five swashbuckling pirates would settle in our proper little southern community. But they did.”

When pirates move in next door, life on the farm is bound to get interesting. But will the unadventurous Sanders family be able to handle the pirates’ bad manners, ghastly grub, and outrageous antics? Or will they learn the importance of loving one’s neighbor and help the graceless pirates find their “land legs”?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 08/19/2013
Chaos reigns in this humorous and heartwarming first book in the Next Door series, in which pirates become neighbors to a staid farm family. The daughter narrates her family’s varied responses to the pirates’ strange speech, style, and customs. For example, when they build a new barn to resemble a pirate ship: “Mother called it ‘disgraceful.’ Joey begged to walk the plank. Dad nailed down loose boards.” Barretta’s (Sheetzucacapoopoo: My Kind of Dog) illustrations capture the hilarious incongruity of the pirates’ attempts to join their new community: a church scene shows the pirates looting the offering, to congregants’ dismay. Another scene has them commandeering the Christmas pageant, upset that “anyone would put a baby in a feeding trough.” Although the townspeople initially rally against the perceived interlopers, they gradually become more welcoming as they come to know their neighbors. This well-crafted, entertaining story delivers a subtle but powerful message. An endnote to parents includes discussion topics for the family. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3—Drop five "swashbuckling pirates" into a small farming community and there's plenty of fodder for humor and life lessons alike. The neighbors have differing opinions on the situation; the narrator's mother is horrifed, her father is open-minded, her brother is thrilled, and she is coolly observant. The pirates' many ineptitudes are milked for full effect, including shearing sheep, harvesting corn, attending church, and hosting dinner parties (hardtack and fish heads). Their fate seems sealed when they destroy the Christmas pageant as they rescue the "baby in a feeding trough." The colorful cartoons fill in details and flesh out distinct personalities. When the mother smiles for the first time, close observers will know things are changing. A list of tongue-in-cheek definitions in pirate-ese and a "Letter to Parents" with Christian-centered discussion points conclude the book.—Carol S. Surges, formerly at Longfellow Middle School, Wauwatosa, WI

Product Details

Publication date:
Next Door Series, The Series
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
9.44(w) x 9.14(h) x 0.45(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years


Meet the Author

Denette Fretz's passion is creating imaginative, engaging stories that help children understand and apply biblical principles. A veteran elementary educator, Fretz resides in Medford, Oregon with her husband, two teenage children, a sassy cat, and a spastic Jack-A-Bee.

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Pirates on the Farm 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KimTeamer More than 1 year ago
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars My Review: What a delightfully humorous book! I thought this little treasure was the perfect blend of funny-hahas mixed with a love-thy-neighbor lesson. The contrast between mom and dad’s first reaction to the pirates was superb. I loved that I got to see mom’s initial fear-intolerance-ignorance response once the pirates moved in and then her growth and resulting love-acceptance heart change. The way she reacted felt real. Sadly, how she began is exactly how many of us do when we meet people who are different from us. But wahoo for her transformation! Dad, on the other hand, was way cool. He was kind, accepting and consistent. The story was told from the daughter/sister’s point of view. She noticed everything. Umm…I am pretty sure there is a lesson in that for parents. We should take heed. Excellent! I really appreciated the glossary of terms in the back of the book, as well as the personal letter and summary from the author. It was a nice touch. Recommend: Yes Options: This would be a great resource for home study, church study, or for a Biblical education curriculum feature associated with a school. A copy of this title was provided by the publisher (Zonderkidz) in exchange for an honest review.
GardeningGal More than 1 year ago
I love reading and reviewing children’s books.  As a mother of two, I’ve spent countless hours reading to my children.  My latest read is Pirates on the Farm written by Denette Fretz and illustrated by Gene Barretta.  I love the idea of using a good story book with the goal of imparting Christian virtues to children.  This book addresses the second greatest commandment, Love your neighbor as yourself.  But what if your neighbors are pirates?  Can you really love someone who lives their life in such a different way?  It’s a fun story that is full of lively characters.  Who doesn’t like a good pirate adventure?  Depending on the age of the child, the vocabulary might be more of a stumbling block than a teachable moment.  The author does include the Seadog Definitions at the back of the book, but words like doubloons, hardtack, landlubber, and salmagundi might actually just confuse the reader and take away from the message.  It makes this book better for the older child, I think the message will be lost on the youngest of readers and read out loud listeners. The illustrations are whimsical.  They show movement, action, and capture the character’s personalities.   I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
“No one ever imagined that five swashbuckling pirates would settle in our proper little southern community. But they did.” Review:  Author Denette Fretz has written a delightful story in the brand new “The Next Door  Series” and it is illustrated with art that truly captures the characters spirit and the action of the story. Pirates on the Farm tells the tale of sea faring pirates – and we all know that they are persons of shady character – moving next door to the Sanders family and bringing with them all their unsavory habits as they try to learn to live the life of farmers with no sea in sight. The story is entertaining – well, that is putting it mildly because it is rip-roaring-shiver-me-timbers funny. But entertainment is a nice way of getting across to children (and those adults that read to them) a lesson in accepting and loving their neighbor. Mom Sanders is suspicious, as are others in the community, and Pa Sanders goes over to help them unpack and move in. Some seem happy to have new, albeit different, neighbors and some are highly suspicious and wary. Now in the back of the book, there is a section with “pirate speak” which is fun. There is also a parents’ page with discussion questions (always good because those kiddies always need a bit of guidance and have lots of questions) and a devotion. I can see this as a great Christmas gift for that little boy in your life and it will be a great learning tool, too. So I'm thinking this is one that librarians, Moms, Dads, schools, Grandparents will all want to check out to have around for the kiddies in their lives. May be purchased at your favorite book supplier. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Pirates on the Farm" from the BookSneeze blog  review program on behalf of the publisher ZonderKidz in exchange for this review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review.
mojo_turbo More than 1 year ago
Denette Fretz has written a cute story about a band of thieving pirates who move next door to the Sanders family.  Through the book the pirates look and act as typical pirates do - and the fun is in seeing how pirates act on a farm with neighbors watching. But it isn't a book about the pirates learning to conform, or the pirates learning to be "good" - rather it's about the Sanders family learning to accept these ruffians as they are - barnacles and all. This is a wonderful tale of "loving your neighbors as yourself" (Mark 12:31) The book has beautiful artwork and is filled with funny pirate speak (which is all explained in the back) My son LOVES pirates and he has several books of pirates getting into funny and precarious adventures - this book will make a fine addition on his shelf. Thank you to Zondervan and ZonderKidz for this preview copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.
SavvyMomma More than 1 year ago
Denette Fretz's book, "Pirates on the Farm" is a children's book that tells the story of a band of pirates that decide to give up the high seas and try their hand at farming. The story tells us how the family that lives nearby deals with the pirates' unconventional farming methods and unruly behavior. The reaction that each person in the family nearby has was different - on person can't stand them, another loves them, etc. In the end, everyone learns to get along and to "love their neighbor", but I'm still not sure how I feel about the way that there was so much animosity and intolerance up to the point where they become friends. I understand that in order to show the change of heart of the family, there had to be some conflict, but I think that the storyline probably could have been a little less unfriendly and still gotten the point across. My children enjoyed the book, but to me when we read it, I mostly got out of it that it was a funny story about silly pirates, and I think that there could have been more emphasis placed on the actual moral of the story, which is loving your neighbors regardless of their actions, and being tolerant of others who aren't like you are. The illustrations were cute, and I thought they were very well done. I would say that this book gets a 3/5. It's a cute story, but I think it probably could have been tweaked a little bit to make it a better read for young kids, so they don't read right through the actual message of the story.