Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

A Pirate’s Life For Me: A day aboard a Pirate Ship

A Pirate’s Life For Me: A day aboard a Pirate Ship

Julie Thompson, Brownie Macintosh
Illustrator:  Patrick O'Brien 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 8
Charlesbridge, 1996   ISBN: 978-0881069310

This is the story of a pirate ship and the events that could take place on it on any given day. Of one thing we can all be sure, and that is, that it was not a life of leisure. Someone had to always be on watch day, or night, and so when the crew got up in the morning there was a group of weary men who had been up all night making sure that the ship ran smoothly whilst the others slept.

The authors of this book go on to describe all aspects of daily life on a pirate ship; from what had to be done if there was a storm, to what the men did for entertainment; from what occurred when a possible prize ship was spotted and attacked to how discipline was maintained on the ship and amongst the men. All the events are put together as if they happened on a single day and we find that we have been given a great deal of information in the process.

At the end of the pirate day the authors have included a short section about famous pirates in history which includes a paragraph about the infamous Captain Blackbeard. There is also a section about famous pirates in stories where readers will find that old favorite Captain Hook from "Peter Pan". At the back of the book there is a glossary of piratical and nautical terms used in the book.

Patrick O’Brien’s bold and vivid oil paintings help to bring the lives of these extraordinary men (and a few women) to life, and we are left with a clear sense of how hard, and yet how full, life must have been for these travelers of the sea.