In Roman’s (Captain No Beard, 2012, etc.) latest children’s book, a feisty parrot joins the crew of Capt. No Beard’s pirate ship, The Flying Dragon, but struggles to keep up with the other crew members.
Pirate captain No Beard runs a tight ship. His crew—Mongo the monkey, Linus the lion, Fribbet the frog and human Hallie, the first mate and the captain’s cousin—gets along swimmingly as they do their assigned tasks. Then Pepper the parrot joins The Flying Dragon as the new cook. She’s feisty and friendly, but when Capt. No Beard has the crew practice their emergency routines on deck, she can’t keep her right and left sides straight (starboard and port, in nautical jargon). After a few failed attempts at getting it right, she throws a temper tantrum and pounds her wings on the deck in frustration. Kindly Hallie realizes what the problem is and teaches Pepper a way to tell her right side from her left side—by making an L shape with her left wing. Once Pepper has a handle on the directions, Hallie tells her, “See, Pepper, there was no reason to cry. Don’t get angry and scream. Just ask for help and wait. We are all here to help you. That’s what crewmates do. All you need is a little patience.” The rest of the crew members applaud her and rename her Polly. Roman’s story, the second in the Capt. No Beard series, stresses the importance of teamwork and the necessity of not giving up in difficult situations. The characters help each other to build confidence and learn new skills, and they do so in a kind, patient way. The book has colorful illustrations on each page and uses lots of pirate lingo, which makes this an appealing read for young children. At the end, readers learn that Capt. No Beard is actually a kid named Alexander who was playing in his bedroom, adding a playful dimension about the importance of imagination.
A charming children’s story about not giving up.