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From previous posts you may have noticed that among my sons many other obsessions, an obsession with pirates seems to have grown along with him. He recieved this book with accompanying CD on his 4th birthday (he had a pirate and princess party). The CD practically lives in his CD player and the book is a favourite at bedtime.
The Night Pirates is written by Peter Harris. He was originally an accountant before finding a love of writng scripts for both adult and children's comedy TV programmes. As far as I have seen this is the only children's book published so far but will be eagerly awaiting more.
The book contains 32 fun filled pages full of mystery, humour and intrigue all built in using simple language your children will love. The text in this book is not just at the bottom or top of page but is in different fonts and sizes spread all over the page with some pages in a portrait layout instead of
the lanscaped book. The words are often directional as well for example the words 'down, down , down the dark street they came' are positioned on a line each with text size of the word down decreasing in size.
It follows the story of a boy named Tom - "Tom was a nice little boy. Tom was a brave little boy. Tom was a little boy about to have an adventure." Tom is awake one night when everyone else is sleeping when "Down down down the dark street they came. Quiet as mice, stealthy as shadows." You see Toms imagination come to live, imagining Monsters and Trolls. Instead he discovers Pirates!!
Now these are not your average scary pirates, these are little girl pirates who have stolen the front of Tom's house as a disguise for their pirate ship. Tom joins the crew and helps the girls steal from 'really rough tough grown up pirates.' Grown up pirates who hide up trees and cry for their mums.
The story ends using almost the same words as it starts with and my son loves this. "Only the moon was watching them when they arrived. Only the moon was watching them when they left. Only the moon and one little boy."
No- one else will ever know? Or will they!
Accompanying this wonderful story are splendid graphics by Deborah Allright. Humorous pictures of the pirates, especially the grown up ones in trees, and also suspension building ones of a dark street and shadows. Her pictures are detailed and include bright colourful illustrations of Tom and the pirates whilst darker images of the night.
I think one of the main appeals of this book is that it isn't just your typical pirate story. The humour built in is magic but at such a simple level that children off all ages will enjoy it. What child wouldn't enjoy a story about an adcenture where they take the mick out of grown ups?
The CD contains 5 tracks - Track 1 - Full story with music, Track 2 - Song to sind along too, Track 3- Creep, Climb and Snare (a pirate game) Track 4 Read along story with page turns and Track 5 is a song only the moon to sing along too. The story is read by John Sessions, he is really animated anf puts me to shame in reading the story in such a way to give it justice.
My son mainly uses Track 4, often I read this book at bedtime and he wants to read it again. I put the track on for him to let him follow the story whilst learning to fall asleep alone (totally spoilt him as a baby so likes me to stay with him)
I think this book would appeal to most children aged 3+ Both girls and bpys would probably enjoy it equally. It is about girl pirates afterall. My son has had this book 18 months or so and it is still read as often now as it was when he first received it. I think that alone tells you his opinion.
The RRP for this book and CD is £7.99 however it is currently selling on Amazon for £4.79 with free delivery on orders over £5.
Read along and sing along to this rough and tough, swinging and swaying, seawashy piratical yarn! One night, young Tom is awoken by noises outside his house. He peeps out of the window and what should he see but pirates. And stranger still - they're girl pirates stealing the front of his house! Tom joins their pirate adventure across the high seas to an island where some rather lazy and silly grown-up pirates are guarding their treasure - but not very successfully. Tom and the girl-pirates make a surprise attack and are soon off on the seas once more with the treasure!