4 out of 4 stars
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The Pirate Who Was Scared Of Birds is a delightful and hilarious adventure from the pen of author Michelle Path (and illustrator Callum Graham). Crackskull Jack is the fearsome and mighty captain of a pirate ship named The Eye Of The Storm, but he has a serious problem! As the title tells us, he is afraid of birds, and this phobia is making him something of a laughingstock with his crew of other buccaneers! What's a pirate to do? Crackskull Jack does find a solution to his problem eventually, but it certainly comes from learning the hard way! With a satisfactory ending for all characters involved, Jack sails away from his misadventure with more courage than before, and a beautiful pet to enjoy.
I was enchanted and amused by Path's witty prose, peppered with a dose of humor. For example,
The story is written at about a fourth-grade level, but even then it is filled with a rich variety of words that will build vocabulary, such as “shrewder,” “ornithophobia,” “prestige,” “sniggered,” and “scuttling,” to name a few.Just the mention of his name was enough to turn the bravest gentleman into a quivering mass of jelly.
The book's illustrations were comical, colorful, and expressive. Approximately two-thirds of the pages were illustrated in full color, which was very eye-catching and attention-grabbing—a necessity in a children's book. The other third of the pages had a lot of white space, but all included a large illustration of a colorful (in more ways than one) character at least.
There wasn't much to find fault with or dislike about this book. It was carefully arranged and error free. One qualm I had with it was the inclusion of a voodoo doll, complete with pins sticking into it, in one of the illustrations. This particular item wasn't mentioned in the plot, and is sure to cause questions and perhaps fear in the young children to whom the book is read. (Older readers may not find this to be an issue). I also would have preferred all of the pages to be full color, but it was the witty wording that carried the story overall. One other minor issue with the book was that the capital “I” and the capital “J” looked alike with the choice of font used, but this was easy to adjust to while reading.
The Pirate Who Was Scared Of Birds is sure to be enjoyed by children and parents alike, particularly those who are fans of Pirates Of The Caribbean, books by the young adult author Avi, or other pirate adventures. The only downside to the book was the one illustration with the voodoo doll, which was unnecessarily dark for a children's book, in my opinion. Were I able to subtract only half a star from my rating, I would, but due to the delightful writing and the vast majority of expressive illustrations, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The high seas call, and adventure awaits! I look forward to reading more children's books by Michelle Path in the future.
The Pirate Who Was Scared of Birds
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