Sammy the Seasick Pirate

Reycraft. May 2021. 32p. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781478870456.
K-Gr 2–Sammy, a pink-skinned boy in a striped shirt and the titular hero of this book, plans to go into the family business and be a pirate captain like his father. But as readers know from the start, there may be a hitch. Springer-Willms drops a deadpan list of requirements into the text: Pirates must swim; they dig for gold; they swab the decks. On land, Sammy performs the job and is a model pirate-in-training. But on board, when the skies darken and the wind tosses the ship, “BLEEAHH!” is Sammy’s projectile response, as rainbow-colored bile streams from his mouth. Many members of the crew are drenched in repeat incidents, until Sammy decides to become a land pirate, gathering up the spoils of shipwrecks on their beach. A lengthy text makes this ideal for reading out loud to groups, and plenty of details in the pictures will give independent readers hours of enjoyment. Back matter provides food for thought; there was a pirate who lured ships to his shore with lanterns, perhaps inspiring this tale.
VERDICT A clever book, it neatly tips the fierce reputation of pirates on its head.

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