Monday, 7 January 2013
A New Home for a Pirate
Jed is an unlikely pirate. He looks the part, all his family are pirates and he lives on a a pirate ship, but what he longs for more than anything is 'a house that stands still with a view from a hill.' Jed decides to abandon ship as it were and set off in search of a new home. His family give him their blessing and help Jed to pack all the necessary goods for his adventure: one long rope, pirate hat, great-grandad's wooden leg, cutlass, spotted handkerchief, clean underpants and a toothbrush among other things. It's a clever list as the items are clues to how Jed's search for a house unfolds and the motley crew of characters he meets along the way.
Jed waves goodbye to his family and takes off on his bike. It's not long before he meets a bird who's nest has been destroyed. Jed promptly volunteers his pirate hat for an alternative nest and invites the bird to join him on his adventure. Next, he meets a sheep tangled in brambles and Jed uses his cutlass to set him free. The pattern repeats as Jed helps one new friend after the other by using his pirate paraphernalia. E really engages with the text as each time Jed helps a new friend he exclaims, 'Shiver me timbers! I've got the very thing.' And each time he learns what they're looking for he adds to his mantra until his quest for a house on a hill includes a 'a stretching-high tree in a field (bramble-free) and a doormat where Old Dog can lie'.
This is a hearty old tale that swings along with Jed's rhyming mantra and by the end he and his crew make a trade on a house belonging to a farmer who longs to be a pirate. I read this one aloud to E's nursery class (a mix of 2-4 year olds) and they listened intently and shouted excitedly in equal measure. I can't think of a better recommendation.
For more about Ronda Armitage and Holly Swain visit the publisher's website.