Kathryn Lasky, author
Kathryn Lasky is the acclaimed author of dozens of books for young readers, including Tumble Bunnies (Candlewick), Hatchling (Scholastic), and Sugaring Time (Macmillan), a Newbery Honor Book. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Read more about Kathryn.
David Clark, illustrator
David Clark is the illustrator of more than fifteen books for children, including Higgins Hole by Kevin Boreen, What's for Dinner? Quirky, Squirmy Poems from the Animal World by Katherine B. Hauth (a winner of the New Mexico Book Awards), and Pirate Bob by Kathryn Lasky.
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- Children's Choices
"Having a best friend on a pirate ship can be complicated." In this lively tale, Lasky shows not only the physical work and thrills of buccaneering but also the complex feelings that come with the job. Pirate Bob's best pal is scurvy-afflicted Yellow Jack. One evening, under a "rogue's moon," the two pirates and their crew attack a galleon and seize its cargo. As the pirates divide the sizable spoils, Bob feels pulled between his longing for Yellow Jack's share and his desire to be a good friend. Although the story is filled with appealingly silly details, it lacks focus, and some children may need help with specialized vocabulary such as grappling hooks and specie. Some children may also be startled by Bob's frank musings: "He wonders how much yellower Yellow Jack will get before he dies. And if he does die, it would be a shame for all that loot to lie buried forever." Clark's hilarious, captivating watercolor-and-ink illustrations greatly amplify the action and meaning in the words, though, and exaggerated close-ups of the pirates further humanize the motley crew. Children will enjoy the view of the sea bandits who are greedy and ruthless, vulnerable and goofy, and who yearn for true friendship almost as much as a chest filled with jewels.
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Lasky and Clark leave their giggling listeners with license - even blessing - to continue playing pirate. But just beneath the vaudevillian swordplay and carousing lurks the notion that there's hard work and skill involved in taking a ship, and the gnawing suggestion that imperiling your health, sacrificing friendship, and dodging the law might be a price too high to pay for a disappointing box of bling. Clash those plastic cutlasses, by all means, but if a listing appears for employment under the black flag, perhaps you should consult with your career counselor, lawyer, and Mom and Dad before signing the Articles.
ISBN: 978-1-60734-104-8 PDF
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Page count: 32
10 1/2 x 9 1/2