Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

The Barefoot Book of Pirates

The Barefoot Book of Pirates

Richard Walker
Illustrator:  Olwyn Whelan 
Picture Book and audio CD
For ages 8 to 10
Barefoot Books, 2004   ISBN: 978-1841481319

One day an upright and honest sea captain who is feared by pirates and admired by many, is visited by a wizard who offers him the opportunity to be made king. The captain accepts the offer and soon he is confronting the pirates who are threatening the peace in his land. Showing good sense the pirates accept that with the captain as king, they have no hope of being successful in their endeavors and they pull up anchor and leave. Unfortunately the captain soon forgets how he came to acquire his crown and he makes a fatal mistake.

This story from Scandinavia and the six other tales in this book are a wonderful collection of pirate lore from around the world. From England there is the tale of how Robin Hood protects innocent fishermen when a pirate ship attacks them. From Ireland there is the story of Pirate Grace who will not take no for an answer.

Complemented by rich paintings these seven stories are well written with an emphasis on the storytellers art. There is no doubt that this collection is ideally suited to being read aloud. For those who want to hear the tales again and again, the publisher has provided an audio CD of the stories which can be found in the back of the book.

Readers will also find note from the author at the back of the book which explains where he found his stories.