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HOW I BECAME A PIRATE by Melinda Long

HOW I BECAME A PIRATE

by Melinda Long, illustrated by David Shannon, developed by Oceanhouse Media

Age Range: 6 - 8

Pub Date: July 17th, 2014
Publisher: Oceanhouse Media

Pans, zooms, gruff vocals and piratical sound effects add even more swash to the buckles of young Jeremy’s first encounter with Braid Beard and his disreputable crew.

A trip to the beach takes a turn for the exciting when Jeremy joins the errant pirates—“Shiver me timbers! We must have taken a wrong turn at Bora Bora.” He soon discovers, however, that as much as pirates delight in dispensing with table manners and tooth brushing, they also scorn bedtime tucking and storybooks. Artful panning or zeroing in on details nicely shows off Shannon’s lovingly detailed images of scurvy knaves in full pirate gear (some small animations have been added), as well as allowing the original narrative to be broken into more digestible passages. Along with options for an animated, multivoiced audio track or silent reading, there is a self-record feature. Readers can tap any word to hear it pronounced again; likewise, touching most figures or details in the pictures activates both vocal and visual labels.

A lively alternative to the 2003 print version, with judicious audio and interactive tweaks but blessedly free of games and like silly distractions. (iPad storybook app. 6-8)