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I recently bought my daughter a set of lovely picture books from The Book People. The books are all illustrated by the excellent Korky Paul and he has collaborated with a number of different authors. In this case, he has teamed up with the author Peter Carter to produce this short but fun book - Captain Teachum's Buried Treasure.
Captain Teachum would have us believe that he is the most fearsome cut-throat pirate there is, attacking castles, burning ships and making people walk the plank. He also reckons that he has buried lots of treasure in various different places - ruined castles, desert islands and eithen at the North and South Poles! However, he also has three secrets that might make you doubt everything else that he says! Firstly, he has a wife that makes him always do the washing up! Maybe, he's not quite as fearsome and rurhless as he would like to think! Secondly he has over twenty five children which might make you wonder when he would get time to go on all these exciting adventures. Finally, and this is the thing that most makes you doubt anything Captain Teachum says, is that he has an appalling memory! This means that if he has buried the treasure that he is never likely to find it or you might even wonder if it was ever there at all! And that's the question that the young reader is left to ponder at the end of the story!
This is a lovely book with a fun story that is told with much humour. It is not very long at all, with few words on most pages, which means that it is very manageable for a beginner reader and will not take too much time to read to a younger child. You will probably want to linger a bit over all the excellent illustrations though!
Korky Paul's illustrations in this book are absolutely superb with so much going on on each and every page. The appearance of Captain Teachum is very detailed with his skull and crossbones black hat, long pointed whiskers and beard, his bejewelled cutlass, fancy pointed shoe at the end of one leg and a wooden leg in place of the other! What is particularly effective always is the glint in his one good eye (the other is covered with a patch) as he causes mayhem on his travels! Every single pictutre has superb detail. For example the picture where we learn that Captain Teachum has twenty five children - we see them all - crawling around deck on nappies, climbing the mast, swinging from the ropes, carrying away the treasure and so on. There is so much to look at and talk about and my daughter and I often enjoy playing spotting games with these pictures where I challenge her to find a certain character doing something! She loves this and this is an ideal book to do this sort of thing with!
Overall, this is a fabulous book that I think is likely to be appreciated by children of all ages. It is published by OXford University Press and has a RRP of £5.99, although I bought it as part of a Book People set meaning it cost a lot less than that!