Captain Beastlie’s Pirate Party by Lucy Coats & Chris Mould (illustrator). Nosy Crow.
Who’s the grubbiest pirate on the high seas? Why, it’s Captain Beastlie, me hearties! He is a horror and embarrassment to his ship-shape crew. Captain Beastlie is eagerly counting down the days till his birthday – but what he doesn’t know is his crew has got a special secret lined up for the Big Event. His days of being the smelliest, dirtiest pirate ever are numbered, and when Captain Beastlie’s birthday finally comes, he’s in for a big surprise…
This book is gross! Captain Beastlie has no concept of personal hygiene, has the worst habits going and is just generally unpleasant. So of course this book is brilliant!!
The book follow’s Captain Beastlie’s countdown to his birthday – each day brings a new discovery of how disgusting he is. This is so well written, the language used is full of description to really get across how yucky Captain Beastlie is. This brings with it a natural humour, I spent much of the book cringing and laughing at the same bits! I did get a little concerned as the book drew towards its close and I realised that the ship’s crew might be about to pull of some sort of transformation – the conclusion to this was entirely satisfying.
I really liked Chris Mould’s illustrations for this book. Every little bit of detail mentioned in the text is clearly transferred into the illustrations. When I took my second read through the book I spotted lots of little things in the pictures that I knew were going to come into play in the last few pages of the book – sharing this with a young reader would be a lot of fun.
This is a book crying out to be read aloud to a group. It’s fun and appealing in its own special, revolting way.
One day, she scratches so much she makes her skin really sore. Can her friends help her?
I read and reviewed Steggie’s Stammer, another book in this series back in July so I was pleased to spot this in the library. Of the whole series (the other two books are Dachy’s Deaf and Rex’s Specs) this was the one I was most curious about – surely having eczema would be a little tricky to convey through a picture book?
The author does manage to convey having eczema well, it’s clear in the illustrations and Emmy’s desire to scratch her eczema even though she knows it’ll only make it worse feels very genuine (and familiar). So too do Emmy’s friends attempts to stop her scratching – if you’re suffering with itchy eczema no amount of people telling you not to scratch is going to stop you! The plot itself is very simple, but it works for the book.
I talked before about loving the Jack Hughes’ illustration style. This book is no different, the pages where the dinosaurs reach the Jurassic meadow to collect the flowers used in Emmy’s eczema treatment are particularly colourful and attractive.
Reading this book has reinforced my feeling that this set would be an excellent inclusion in any childcare setting’s collection. They deal with issues that may make children feel different in a calm, careful and reassuring manner.
Both books featured in this post were borrowed from my local library.