Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Pirateology: Guidebook and Model Set

Pirateology: Guidebook and Model Set

, Dugald A. SteerIllustrator:  Ian Andrew , Anne Yvonne Gilbert , Helen Ward , Emma Nichols 
Novelty Historical Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Candlewick, 2007   ISBN: 978-0763635824

Captain William Lubber, in his pursuit of pirates, has found it necessary to "accept the assistance" of one Captain Carlton, a pirate of ill repute. Captain Carlton has provided Captain Lubber with valuable information about how pirates "manage their ships." Being a careful sort of man, Captain Lubber has written down everything that the pirate told him and he is sending his account along with a model of Carlton's ship to Samuel Shute, the Governor of Massachusetts. It is to be hoped that the account will help the authorities better understand the pirates and therefore capture more of them in the future.

In his description Captain Lubber explains how pirates "acquire" their ships, how they care for and sail them, what the typical crew is like, and what life on board a pirate vessel is like. He goes on to describe the lives of some of the world's most "Notable Pirates"including Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Edward England. Captain Lubber also includes a handbill which he was given during his travels. It describes how a certain Captain Ogle did battle with the notorious Black Bart Roberts and how he won said battle. Captain Lubber concludes with some pages from Captain Carlton's own pirate diary. These are particularly interesting as they refer at length to treasure which Carlton hid on Goat Island at some point during his piratical career.

Fans of all things piratical will love this novelty item. Not only will they learn a great deal about pirates and pirate history, but they will find themselves getting swept up by the story of the two captains. Fabulous illustrations fill the pages and the clever presentation of the book gives the reader the impression that he or she really is looking at a book put together by a man who lived in a bygone era.

The model ship is easy to put together using the instructions provided and the result is certainly worth the effort. Captain Carlton certainly had a grand ship.