A simple story with a good message and just about everything that young pirate fanatics will be looking for.
It’s a foggy night outside the Old Parrot’s Head pub when three pirates – Hector, Sue and George – settle down with a big barrel of grog. They share stories of how they’ve captured wild and terrifying monsters. The Hockler could soar through the sky and spit globs of poison straight in your eye. The Crunk was a two-headed beast whose one head would sleep while the other would feast. And then, finally, there was the Muncher who liked to bite pirates on sight. While our three pirates become progressively more raucous, a ship is sailing closer. Three shapes gradual emerge from the shadows on the ship’s deck. The three pirates are in for a nasty shock when the monsters they claimed to have left for dead emerge from the fog and knock on the door or the Old Parrot’s Head.
This is fun tale with a good message for children – boasting and lies will be caught out! It’s a simple circular story but the ending really made me smile. (You can probably guess what this is but I’m not going to say just in case it’s not immediately obvious to you).
The book has just about everything that young pirate fanatics will be looking for. While the short rhyming text only mentions some classic pirate characteristics, the pictures add a whole lot more ensuring the full pirate experience. Indeed, the bright and bold cartoon-style pictures add every detail from the skulls and cutlasses on the walls of the pub to the eye-patch on the sleeping dog. There’s even a random treasure chest on the very final page even though this has nothing directly to do with the story.
The illustrations by Lee Cosgrove are truly superb. I particularly loved the swirling pink fog as it creeps towards the pub but suspect that children are more likely to warm to the fantastic and fun pictures of our three monsters. (My personal favourite has to be the Hockler who also appears on the book’s front cover.) The monster illustrations are incredibly inventive but also impressively expressive.
If you enjoyed this and would like to read a pirate picture book with a similar theme, I’d strongly recommend The Pirates are Coming! by John Condon and Matt Hunt. Alternatively, for another swashbuckling adventure written entirely in rhyme, I’d suggest you read Pizza for Pirates by Adam Guillain, Charlotte Guillain and Lee Wildish.
Publication date: October 2020
Publisher: Maverick Arts Publishing
Website: Lee Cosgrove