A hilarious twist on The Boy Who Cried Wolf! When Tom rings his bell and shouts “PIRATES!” a few too many times — even though there’s no pirate ship — the villagers start to get tired of hiding. But what will happen when the pirates really do show up?
Tom has a very important job: every day he climbs to the top of the hill and watches for pirate ships. When he rings his bell and shouts “PIRATES!” a few too many times — even though there’s no pirate ship — the villagers start to get tired of hiding. But what will happen when the pirates really do show up?---from the publisher
32 pages 978-1536212167 Ages 3-7
Keywords: honesty, truth, pirates, humor, 3 year old, 4 year old, 5 year old, 6 year old, 7 year old
“We are rough!
We are tough!
We are gruff, gruff, gruff!”
-- Pirate chant from Phoebe Gilman’s GRANDMA AND THE PIRATES (Scholastic, 1990)
“And once again (but not quite as quickly this time), everybody hid.
They waited...and waited...and waited UNTIL it was very clear there were definitely NO pirates, just a big merchant ship pulling into the dock.
‘TOM!’ said the villagers. ‘That is NOT a pirate ship!’
‘That’s OK, Tom, said his dad gently. ‘Just remember, pirate ships are big and fast, and they have a special pirate flag.’
When Tom trudged up the hill the next day, he brought his favorite book, some crayons, and his teddy bear, and got ready for a long wait.
A generation ago, when GRANDMA AND THE PIRATES was first published, I was an early childhood educator. It wasn’t that long before then that Title IX was enacted. I knew it was essential to disabuse the younger generation--my preschool students--of the notion that girls couldn’t be this or that. And the sooner the better.
Now there’s another new generation, but we still hear the same old statistics: Women in equivalent jobs earn only 80 cents for every dollar men make. Black women in equivalent jobs earn only 61 cents for every dollar men make. This is intolerable. We cannot ease up on our demands that opportunity in America truly be equal until, in fact, we really get there.
I imagine that the trajectory of my comments gives a big hint as to the punchline of this incredibly fun pirate yarn. But before we reach the climax, THE PIRATES ARE COMING! is a clever, twisted retelling of the traditional tale, “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.” Again and again, Tom climbs the hill to watch for pirates. He innocently mistakes various vessels for pirate ships and, as the townspeople repeatedly get irritated at him, Tom’s father patiently instructs him as to what to watch for.
By time a real pirate ship comes into view, the townspeople are no longer paying him any mind...until they hear the telltale squawk of the captain’s parrot.
Matt Hunt’s lively, mixed-media illustrations include a charming multicultural cast with priceless expressions on their faces.
As has long been the case, today’s kids are enchanted by the notion of pirates. It will be easy to draw young people into a read-aloud of THE PIRATES ARE COMING! It’s a fun story with a surprise ending that subtly proposes that girls can do anything boys can--even the naughty stuff.
32 pages 978-1-5362-1216-7 Ages 4-8
Recommended by: Richie Partington, MLIS, California USA
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