Reviews for Big Book of Pirates

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring
This book (originally published in Spanish, adapted and abridged by Heyman) includes poems, short stories, and excerpts of classic and well-known pirate tales by Conrad, Pyle, Conan Doyle, Defoe, and others. It's a visually appealing volume, with a sturdy die-cut cover and entertaining brown- and blue-tinged illustrations, but young readers would be more gratified by the original complete texts.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2011 June #1

First published in Spain, this collection features abridged stories by Joseph Conrad, Howard Pyle, Daniel Defoe, and others. Vivid descriptions should capture readers' interest: "Captain Sharkey looked like a corpse. He was thin and balding with filmy blue eyes reddened by hate and sea salt," writes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in The Blighting of Sharkey. Tomás matches the grisly, mysterious, and sometimes humorous tone of the stories with gestural pirate caricatures in an appealing inky, graphic-novel style. Selections with supernatural leanings (for example, The Frozen Pirate by W. Clark Russell) and high-action descriptions should especially engage reluctant readers. Ages 9-12. (June)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2011 August

Gr 5-6--A red sky at night may be a sailor's delight, but for those who long for the scoundrel's life at sea, this book satisfies instead. It's a buccaneer's bounty of tales and artwork sure to appeal to the imagination of wannabe pirates born a couple of centuries too late. The sturdy cover features gold lettering and a skull and crossbones above a cutout framing the smarmy visage of Blackbeard himself. Inside is a treasure trove of abridged yarns by the likes of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, and others. Of course the stories deal with pillaging, treachery, and all-around bad behavior on the open seas. The artwork is a dark, graphic-novel-like spin on N.C. Wyeth's illustrations for classics such as Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe. Tomás uses a bold color palette and has given many of his characters angular faces and staring eyes, all to an appropriately menacing effect. This entertaining package will not make port on the shelves for long.--Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR

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