Jolly Dodgers, Pirates Who Pretended - The most puny of pirates . Age 3+
The Jolly Dodgers
Neil Griffiths, illustrated by Janet Louden
Not a tale of swashbuckling vagabonds, but of puny pirates who prefer pampering to plundering... This should have been the tale of swashbuckling vagabonds who ruled the seas by blasting ships with whizzing cannonballs before plundering them of their glistening treasures. But meet instead the most puny of pirates who preferred pampering to plundering and bowling to blasting! A skullduggerous story that sends shivers down the shins of piratehood!
Pages: 32, Format: Paperback, Size: 10x11 ins
Issues/Topic areas: Pirates
Pirates are ferocious beings who roam the seas, striking terror into the hearts of all they meet, right? Not in the case of The Jolly Dodgers -they prefer pampering to plundering and bowling to blasting! Join a master storyteller in this rollicking tale of hen-pecked pirates who are sent to sea by their wives who want treasure for themselves. But out of sight, out of mind and our anything-but plucky pirates have a whale of a time -until their wives get wind of their antics and take things into their own hands. A hilarious tale which children will thoroughly enjoy... and they can find out about real pirates too."
"I'll get started with this point; the layout of this book is utterly wonderful. It's got a great subject matter, pirates are always popular both with adults and children, and the story of a group of pirates who don't really want to be pirates but who are being forced into it by their pushy wives, is a terribly entertaining one. But it is the layout, style and all the extras which are working the hardest in this book's favour. I love the way that it start out with facts about pirates, with illustrations and lots of terminology which make it a book which can span plenty of age ranges. It's a very clever approach, by sandwiching the story between some bits and pieces of non-fiction, this book could sit just as happily in a school classroom to be used in projects as it would on a bookshelf for story time. This is the aspect of the book which works best -its versatility.
The illustrations are great; bright and inviting with plenty of laughs and fun details. The fact the story's illustrations are in full colour, whereas the facts are simply line drawn, and the back story illustrated in monochrome, give it a great visual impact as a whole.
I think there was room for the ending of this story to be somehow funnier than it turned out being, with such a great premise and excellent design, I couldn't help but feel the end fizzled out ever so
slightly. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed it and I hope that the door has been left open for a follow up -or maybe the same type of book on a different subject.
This book only narrowly misses out on utter brilliance, but it is definitely one to check out, and I'm sure it will be a really popular title."
4/5 stars, Rachael Spencer, - bookbag.co.uk