Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pirate House Swap

Pirate House Swap

Abie Longstaff
Illustrator:  Mark Chambers 
Picture Book
For ages 4 to 6
Random House UK, 2011   ISBN: 978-0552560818

Every year the Clarks spend the summer in their city home. Mr. and Mrs. Clark work on the house and the two children play outside in the garden. Then one summer they decide that they want to do something “different,” and Mr. Clark finds an advertisement for a house swap. They are going to swap houses with another family and spend the summer in “a lovely timber home” that is “Right on the sea.” What could be more perfect!

   When they finally get to their summer home, the Clarks do not find themselves in a bijou residence on the shore. Instead their home for the summer is a ship, a ramshackle pirate ship. At first they have a hard time getting used to their new quarters. Mrs. Clark accidentally fires the cannons, and her daughter keeps falling out of her sleeping hammock.

   The pirate family living in the Clark’s home is not having an easy time of it either. When you are used to living on a ship without any modern conveniences such as vacuum cleaners, living in a modern home can be rather trying.

   Over time the Clarks get used to living on board a ship, and the pirate adjust to life in an urban setting. Sort of.

   Children are going to enjoy the story in this amusing book and will love the clever art and the fold out pages.