FICTION

Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten!

Two Lions Amazon/. Aug. 2019. 32p. illus. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781542092753.
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PreS-Gr 1–Entering a new grade can be hard. Emma does not want to leave her pirate-themed preschool class to attend space-themed kindergarten. She does not want to abandon her beloved pirate Cap’n Chu for spaceship Cap’n Hayes. Her teachers work together to lure Emma into kindergarten — fun space theme, good kids and great activities, a guinea pig, a reading nook— but again and again Emma “swims back” to her pirate ship. She even rallies the new pirates into a mutiny, which peters out when naptime begins. In the end Emma is reassured that she can visit Ms. Chu who will of course miss Emma, too. Finally, a confident Space Pirate Emma joins the spaceship crew because as it turns out, “Pirates do go to kindergarten!” Using a mixture of fantasy (Emma literally swims back to preschool) and reality (Emma and Ms. Chu hugging goodbye), Kaban’s illustrations perfectly capture Emma’s defiance, sadness, and acceptance with sincerity and humor. Robinson’s fun-to-read text is chock-full of pirate lingo and heart. This dynamic text uses various fonts, locations, and colors to mesh with the illustrations. Warning: The super cool pirate and space-themed classrooms may make both children and adults wish they could attend this school.
VERDICT A fun and raucous ride with great pirate lingo that reminds readers that change isn’t bad, but it can be challenging

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