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PIRATES DON'T SAY PLEASE! by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton


by Laurie Lazzaro Knowlton & illustrated by Adrian Tans

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-58980-982-6
Publisher: Pelican

In an obvious and clumsy remake of Where the Wild Things Are, a rude young “pirate” is consigned to his room until he learns better manners.

Dressed in a store-bought pirate outfit and waving a toy cutlass, Billy’s obnoxious “Back away from me bounty, poppet” to his mother—visible in Tans’ bland, literal paintings only from the neck down—results in lunchtime banishment to his bedroom. It is soon transformed into a succession of ships and nautical settings. The author’s attempt to sidestep potential controversy by having Billy sing out “Yo, ho, ho, and a bottle of scum!” really only calls attention to the original’s reference to alcohol, and his stuffed parrot’s cries of “Booty! Booty!” will definitely induce giggles in modern audiences, for whom the word has a meaning that is likely not what was intended. Waking up hungry to the scent of “a dinner fit for a prince,” Billy finally makes a quick change to another (also plainly store-bought) costume for a grand re-entrance: “Dear Queen, your prince has arrived with hands washed. Many thanks for the banquet.”

At least he was let out of his room. (Picture book. 6-8)