An imaginative pirate preschooler has a hard time adjusting to a new captain in kindergarten.
Not only is beloved preschool teacher Cap’n Chu not the captain of the kindergarten ship, but it doesn’t even sail the seas—it’s a spaceship! This is too much for pirate Emma to take, and she falls back to reboarding the preschool ship: “Pirates don’t go to kindergarten!” Despite repeated efforts on the parts of Cap’n Chu, new teacher Cap’n Hayes, and a fellow kindergartener, Emma continues to cling to Cap’n Chu until she gets the reassurance she needs that her former teacher will miss her too but will always be available for a visit. With that, space pirate Emma finally reports to her new ship. Kaban’s digital illustrations go to town with the metaphor, depicting school as a mix of reality and imagination: Emma swims, wooden cutlass in her teeth, back to the preschool room. Emma’s portrayed with a peg leg in one picture, and the kindergarten guinea pig’s fur makes it look like it wears an eye patch. Otherwise, the pirate trope is limited to bandannas and striped shirts. Emma presents white; the other students are diverse; Cap’n Chu presents Asian; and Cap’n Hayes has brown skin and white hair. Unfortunately, awkward renderings of her head and face may remind readers of a monkey’s.
It’s tough to walk the plank and leave beloved captains behind; this may make the transition a little easier. (Picture book. 4-8)