Reviewed by Sally Ellis
My son was very much looking forward to receiving a new book and couldn’t wait to read it at bedtime. We usually read a couple of books every night and although this is a substantial story, can easily be read by a parent within around 8-10 minutes, depending on how many interruptions and questions you get!
The book was recommended for 3 years upwards and since my son is 3 years, 10 months old and loves a certain pirate-themed TV show, he is extremely excited in any pirate adventures. The story gets straight into the action with a storm brewing and Captain No Beard (he’s a boy, therefore no beard!) being warned by an hysterical Polly the Parrot that the old adage “Red Sky in the morning, Sailors take warning” was good reason to panic. Fortunately, the crew muddle through and when things die down, they decide to hunt for buried treasure on Snake Island.
First Mate Hallie is terrified of snakes and none too pleased about the prospect of coming across some on the island, but despite a close encounter, they manage to unearth the greatest treasure of all!
The illustrations are beautiful and the action is fast-paced, with a good smattering of funny and silly characters (Cabin Girl Cayla, Fribbet the Frog, Mongo the Monkey and Linus the Lion also feature), the story kept my son very entertained and he couldn’t wait to read it all over again.
My only criticism and this is in no way the fault of the author, rather the intended audience being originally American, was some of the colloquial language, such as “peanut and jelly sandwiches” (I changed it to jam so as not to cause confusion) and a conversation about Fribbet liking “succotash”. I had to actually ‘Google’ the term myself (it’s a dish consisting mainly of sweetcorn and lima beans) and a quick Facebook status about it proved that most of my friends didn’t understand either – a word that clearly hasn’t quite made it into the U.K. vernacular.
Overall, this is a wonderful book with an engaging story, lovely characters and a great ending. I’d highly recommend it.
Available to buy from Amazon here.