Reviews for Pirate's Guide to Recess

Booklist Reviews 2013 June #1
"Gangway, lubbers!" Trailed by a ghostly crew of sepia shipmates in full pirate gear, young Red pelts out of school onto the playground for a rousing round of deck swabbing and swashbuckling in this companion to A Pirate's Guide to First Grade (2010). A challenging demand to surrender unexpectedly draws doughty classmate Molly into the pirate play and nearly leaves Red "cast adrift on the open sea." Fortunately, the bell and his pleading cause her to relent and promise further adventure on the morrow. A glossary of pirate slang follows a final scene of the two rapscallions sitting side by side amid piles of books with an avid audience of tars peering interestedly over their shoulders. A hearty bit of bonding, sure to draw a few yo-ho-ho's from armchair buccaneers. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
"Captain" Red and his friend Molly engage in an epic playground battle amidst hordes of imagined pirates on the open sea. The pirate-speak-heavy text reinforces the immersive feeling of the pair's game. Ruth's art provides sweeping perspectives and uses color versus shades of gray and brown to distinguish real figures from imaginary. A glossary of pirate vocabulary follows the story.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 May #4

Using the same blustery pirate slang and vintage-style artwork that propelled A Pirate's Guide to First Grade, Preller and Ruth transform a school playground into a swashbuckling adventure featuring two rival captains--Red (from the previous book) and fearsome Molly. Their respective pirate crews are again rendered in pencil, creating a ghostly effect, and their surly theatrics will pull readers through this nautical fantasy. "Don't scowl so, sweet Red!" Molly tells Red after his crew mutinies. "We're just having a little yo ho ho." Preller and Ruth put kids at the helm as they communicate the joy of escaping into a world of pretend. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Rosemary Stimola, Stimola Literary Studio. (June)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2013 June

PreS-Gr 2--Swashbuckling sketches of ships, pirates, and parrots abound in this homage to pretend play. Molly and Red captain two unruly bands of rapscallions, and when they face off on the high seas, Red orders a siege. His lackluster scallywags mutiny because they have "no stomach for swordplay." Molly's mates help them tie up the howling Red and send him out to sea. When the bell rings and the spell of their pirate adventure starts to unravel, Molly graciously releases his imaginary ropes and promises more adventures tomorrow. A final scene of them reading together shows their pirate crews peering curiously over their shoulders. Ruth's illustrations expertly convey a fantasy pirate world in line drawings, while the children and the schoolyard are shown in full color. Regrettably, the story lacks enough interesting conflict to propel the plot and the resolution feels forced. Preller misses the opportunity for genuinely funny pirate dialogue and situational comedy in favor of interjecting numerous "Arrr's" and "Aye's." The glossary, called "Homework! A Pirate's Vocabulary," will make this a suitable addition to a school lesson or display, but the book may leave many readers feeling like it was all "blimey" and no booty.--Jenna Boles, Greene County Public Library, OH

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