Reviews for How to Pulverize Pirates

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
These books offer advice to kids seeking to rid themselves of a variety of menacing pests. The texts, which may have rhymed in their original French, frequently stumble in rhythm and reason; the comical watercolor and ink drawings purvey a grotesque appeal that certain readers, especially fans of monsters/dinosaurs/pirates, will enjoy. A sticker sheet is included with each book. [Review covers these titles: How to Demolish Dinosaurs, [f2]How to Mash Monsters, and How to Pulverize Pirates.]

School Library Journal Reviews 2013 November

K-Gr 2--Despite the enticing title and cover art, this book falls flat. The plot is not cohesive; it's just different scenarios for how to outwit pirates. Ostensibly organized into three sections-"Pirates of the High Seas," "Pirates in Fresh Water," and "Pirates in the Bathtub"-few of the scenarios relate to the headings under which they fall. The majority of the solutions presented are neither accessible nor empowering for young children (spray the pirates' flag with white paint, give them lots of rum, and steal their weapons). The text is stilted and jarring, wavering between prose and forced verse. "A pirate might have a peg leg made of wood./Saw it off and he won't clop as far as he could./Other pirates have a sharp hook where there once was a hand./Use it to hang them up wherever you command!" While the illustrations are delightfully amusing with the roguish pirates and crazily grinning children, they add to the confusion. In the first two thirds the children are considerably smaller than the pirates, but in the final section the pirates become inexplicably tiny and terrorize the children in their homes. The final spread shows two children dressed as pirates amid utter mayhem, and the text suggests that when getting in trouble, "Say it wasn't you, it was the pirates!" While the idea of pirate play getting out of hand is a good one, the text is too contradictory to make it sail.--Anna Haase Krueger, Ramsey County Library, White Bear Lake, MN

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