We have just recently launched our bimonthly theme “Stream of Stories and Whispering Water Tales” until end of December. I tried looking for water-themed picture books in verse and I found this Pirates book by David L. Harrison and pictures by Dan Burr. While only tangentially-related to our theme, I couldn’t help but share this with you as the illustrations are gorgeous and the poems light-hearted and fun. Poetry Friday is hosted this week by Mary Lee from A Year of Reading.
This book has 20 poems in all matched by captivating, life-like, full-spread illustrations by Burr. There is an Author Note entitled “Warning! Pirates Ahead!” at the beginning of the book which aimed to demystify the entire romanticized notion of pirates. According to the Author:
Many books, movies, and plays make pirates seem like heroes. Real pirates were never heroes. They were thieves through and through and pledged loyalty only to themselves.
The author went on to note that there are also privateers who are pirates for hire and the fact that there are still pirates today who are still on the prowl in the South China Sea, the east coast of Somalia among other places. There is also an end note that provides interesting facts about pirates, several notes about women pirates disguised as men (I would have loved to see a poem about that though).
The book, however, focused more on the pirates of old (reminded me a tad of Johnny Depp, of course. Who else? There can only be one Captain Jack Sparrow). There are poems about Signing on a Crew and what a Pirate Nest looks like – what it means to spend Another Day at Sea or what happens to a pirate who does not abide by the Ship’s Rules as seen in Cat-O’-Nine-Tails.
My favorite though and my Poetry Offering this week is Marooned. I am sure that we must have felt this sense of entrapment and the resignation when it comes to dealing with life’s consequences, at one point in our lives.
There go me mates,
gone for good.
I’ll never leave this
speck of sand,
this hump no bigger
than a whale at sea.
I’ll never see another soul,
never sail another ship.
Break the rules,
you pay the price -
marooned for life,
your life may be.
Pirates. Poems by David L. Harrison and Illustrations by Dan Burr. Published by Wordsong, an Imprint of Boyds Mills Press, Inc. 2008. Book borrowed from the public library.
Kansas State Reading Circle List, 2009; NCTE Notable Poetry Books, 2008; VOYA’s Nonfiction Honor List, 2009; Texas Blue Bonnet Award 2010-2011 Master List; Indiana Young Hoosier Master Reading List, 2011-2012
AWB Reading Challenge Update: 118 (