And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed)
Winters, Kari-Lynn. (April, 2015). Illustrated by Dean Griffiths. Bad Pirate. Toronto, ON: Pajama Press. 32 pages. ISBN: 978-1-927485-71-2. See the sequel, Good Pirate.
“New Kids Book to Love” by in Bailey Public Library Newsletter (October 2015), online at www.baileylibrary.org/Bailey1015NL.pdf:
Smart pacing and playful art tell the tale of a pirate too doggone loyal for her own good. Capt. Barnacle Garrick may be the scurviest mutt to sail the seven seas, but his blue-eyed daughter Augusta is kind, considerate, and caring. In short, she’s a very bad pirate. The story is so packed with pirate jargon and growls that even the most staid and sorry landlubbers will become salty dogs while reading. It’s Griffiths’ art that takes the wave-swept narrative to another level. Augusta’s charm goes far, and each breed of canine is rendered with a loving hand. Even more delightful are the tiny details: from Augusta’s surreptitious carving of a new peg leg to Garrick’s battles with uniformed mice in an early vignette, young readers will see something new with each turn of the page.
Arrrrguably the best piratical dogfight you’ll ever sink your teeth into.
“Books for Young Pirates” by Cindy Vallar, in Pirates & Privateers (Oct 20, 2015), online at cindyvallar.com/Winters.html:
5/5 stars: Captain Barnacle Garrick is exactly what makes a very good pirate. He’s nasty, disagreeable, and horrible. His daughter is the exact opposite, which makes for a bad pirate. While her father is making his crew walk the plank, she’s below in a longboat rescuing them. When Barnacle catches other members of the crew being nice, he calls an emergency meeting to reinforce the three qualities of all good pirates.
Everyone agrees . . . except Augusta. It’s just not in her nature. But she really wants to make her papa proud, so while everyone sleeps, she finally does a despicable deed. Before Captain Barnacle learns of it, he discovers that the ship is sinking. The only one who can help is Augusta, and when she scampers into action, the pirates learn the truth about what qualities truly make a good pirate.
Bad Pirate is a wickedly delightful tale that is perfect for reading aloud and for young pirates to participate in the telling. Even the inside covers contain information to enrich the adventure. In the front are pirate words, while in the back can be found nautical words any sailor would use. The artwork is fabulous, and the various expressions on the dogs’ faces perfectly capture the humor, the seriousness, the terror, and much more. The whole crew sports earrings and locating them adds to the fun. Even the rats get a chance to participate. This picture book may be for the youngest of pirates, but old pirates will get a kick out of the tale as well. Don’t be surprised if Bad Pirate becomes a favorite that young pirates want to hear again and again.
Review by Penny Draper in Readerly magazine (August 6, 2015), online at nationalreadingcampaign.ca/childrens-book-reviews-bad-pirate:
Augusta Garrick is good-natured and helpful but when you’re a pirate, being good is BAD. At least that’s what her father, Captain Barnacle Garrick, seems to think. He wants no kindhearted scurvy scabs on board his ship, that’s for sure: “On this ship yez got to be saucy and yez got to be bold but most important me hearties, yez got to be SELFISH!” Readers will chant along with Captain Barnacle as Augusta teaches her father a lesson in this topsy-turvy book.
Kari-Lynn Winters is known for her fun, rhythmic language and Bad Pirate is no exception. Using repetition and boisterous words, Winters makes everyone feel like an old sea dog. (Luckily for non-pirates, the endpapers include a glossary.) And Dean Griffiths’ illustrations add to the merriment, characterizing all the pirates as dogs. From spaniels to pit bulls, even the mermaids are canine, or rather, mer-dogs. Sporting nose rings, beaded dreadlocks and a hilarious range of headgear, these hearties are an enthusiastic bunch, right up until a terrible storm makes the pages sway so realistically readers may have to close their eyes!
Whether ye be saucy, bold, kindhearted – or all three – Bad Pirate is a rollicking read-aloud that will please the pirate in everyone.
Review by Mary Jean Smith in School Library Journal 61:7 (July 2015), p.69, online at pajamapress.ca/bad_pirate_delights_school_library_journal:
Bad Pirate by Kari-Lynn Winters and Dean Griffiths“Among the sea dogs (literally dogs in pirate clothing) on her father’s ship, August Garrick is a very bad pirate. Her kind, polite, and helpful actions win her a lecture. “To be a good pirate, yez gots to be saucy,” says captain Garrick. “And yez gots to be bold. But most important, me sea pup, yez gots to be selfish!” Scully, a bull terrier with a wood leg, will see to it, or the captain will feed him to the fish. So Augusta throws Scully’s peg-leg out a porthole while he’s sleeping, hoping this selfish act will make her father proud. That night a terrible storm comes up and rips the sails. The ship lists and takes on water. Just as the crew is ready to abandon ship, Augusta climbs the rigging and takes charge. “Less speed!” she calls. “Lads, help me reef the sails!” They obey her, and the ship is saved. Her proud father hugs her. “Augusta, yez be the best pirate I’z ever known—saucy, bold, and selfless!” This book with its nautical terms and pirate speak is a delight to read aloud. The full color artwork is rich in detail, and the expressive canine faces of captain and crew will bring smiles.
Verdict: This seagoing tale with its endearing heroine will be a sure hit with youngsters.
Review by Reesa Cohen in CM Magazine 21:37 (May 29, 2015), online at umanitoba.ca/cm/vol21/no37/badpirate.html:
OK, me hearties! Gather round for a good old rollicking pirate yarn, one with a twist. Barnacle Garrick is your typical fierce pirate, with proud, bold and selfish ways, all prized qualities of his pirate crew. Yet his daughter has the opposite nature, something which Barnacle finds troublesome. She is neither saucy, bold or selfish. Her kindness and helpful ways are scorned. Good-hearted Augusta is determined to please her father and show she can be ruthless and bold. She actually does something “selfish” to Scully, a fellow pirate with a peg leg, something which she comes to regret. But, in a severe storm, she proves her mettle and her resourcefulness and overcomes a possible disaster at sea by being bold and saucy, barking out orders and taking action that saves the day through a selfless act. Barnacle has to admit that this quality should also be valued. Although Augusta is intimidated by her father’s pirate-like expectations in the beginning, her strength of character wins out!
The text begs to read aloud by a parent or teacher with great dramatic flourish and a pirate accent. Words that describe different character traits are highlighted for emphasis. The slang and nautical terms are included on the endpapers. Readers be warned: there may be questions from the little ones, like my grandson, as to the “fate of the peg leg”. As always, Griffiths’ artwork is outstanding. The lively text is wonderfully complemented with high-spirited and energetic drawings, full of bold colours and great detail. Bad Pirate is artfully designed. Much of the pirate dialogue cleverly appears on floating pieces of sail. The pirates’ being portrayed as very expressive dogs has a dynamic comic effect. Various breeds are cleverly used, and these delightful “sea dogs” should require a second look. Griffiths also makes use of many different perspectives to simulate vibrant sea action.
Both writer and illustrator have many children’s books and awards to their credit. Their depth of experience and creative ability results in a feisty, fun tale.
Reesa Cohen is a retired Instructor of Children’s Literature and Information Literacy at the Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, MB.
Review in Quill and Quire (March 3, 2015), online at www.quillandquire.com/review/bad-pirate:
Captain Barnacle Garrick is a good pirate: he’s saucy, bold, and selfish. So is his scurvy-ridden crew. His daughter, Augusta, however, is good natured and helpful, and thus a terrible pirate. When she offers to fix a rip in their ship’s sail, she is chastised for being too nice. Her father roars, “If I find a kindhearted matey on board, yez be the one feedin’ the fishes!” In an effort to please her father and show she can be bad, Augusta throws fellow pirate Scully’s peg leg overboard, though she feels sick with guilt afterward.
Screen shot 2015-02-04 at 4.49.53 PMWhen a storm threatens the ship, Augusta defies orders and scurries up the rigging to repair the sail, averting disaster and proving she can be saucy and bold without being selfish. Her altruistic actions cause her father to revise his rules and opinion of what makes a good bad pirate.
This is a delightful book with a take-charge female protagonist who rejects her father’s expectations of stereotypical behaviour and remains true to her own values. Kari-Lynn Winters’ text is as spirited as Augusta herself, sprinkled liberally with classic pirate slang and nautical terms (all helpfully explained on the endpapers). Veteran artist Dean Griffiths’ clever illustrations are filled with movement, drama, and visual jokes, often depicting the action from different perspectives (atop the main mast, water level outside the ship). The characters are dogs of different breeds dressed as pirates – a visual pun on the term “sea dogs” – and have wonderfully expressive, human-like faces. Captain Garrick wears a hook in place of one paw – a sly reference to the infamous Captain Hook. Although the potential damage of the storm is a little too easily averted, this rollicking story will charm pirate fans young and old.
Starred (!) review, from Kirkus Reviews (June 10, 2015), online at kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/kari-lynn-winters/bad-pirate/:
Wicked smart pacing and playful art tell the tale of a pirate too doggone loyal for her own good.
Capt. Barnacle Garrick may be the scurviest cur (literally—he’s a springer spaniel) to sail the seven seas, but his blue-eyed daughter Augusta is kind, considerate, and caring. In short, she’s a very bad pirate indeed. Disgusted—she’s more inclined to tuck her bunkmates in than to commit basic forms of piracy—her father admonishes her to “be saucy…bold….But most important, me sea pup, yez gots to be SELFISH!” Augusta tries by purloining a fellow shipmate’s peg leg, but when a squall and a torn mainsail mean almost certain sinking, the feisty sea pup teaches her father and his crew that sometimes it pays to be saucy, bold, and selfless. In a story so packed with piratical jargon and growls that even the most staid and sorry landlubbers will become salty dogs while reading it, it’s Griffiths’ art that takes the wave-swept narrative to another level. Augusta’s charm goes far, and each breed of canine is rendered with a loving hand. Even more delightful are the tiny details. From Augusta’s surreptitious carving of a new peg leg to Garrick’s battles with uniformed mice in an early vignette, young readers will see something new with each turn of the page.
Arrrrguably the best piratical dogfight you’ll ever sink your teeth into. (Picture book. 4-6)
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