Papa Is a Pirate by Katharina Grossman Hensel

When a little boy wonders what his father did today, he gets a big surprise.  Because his father is claiming that he is a pirate captain.  Could it be?  Yes, he bikes to work, but that’s just until he reaches the harbor and his pirate ship.  He claims wooden legs are “a nuisance” and that Petey the parakeet has the heart of a parrot.  Papa has great tales about his adventures, including sea monsters!  Could it be that he is really telling the truth?  You will just have to read the book and decide for yourself.

Hensel nicely creates a story where you believe one thing and the illustrations show another.  Her prose reads aloud fluidly and is filled with humorous touches.  My favorite is that the pirates make money by putting on pirate shows for cruise ships.  The tone here is light and fun but still filled with adventure and story telling.  Hensel’s illustrations are just as humorous as the text.  From a cross-section of the pirate ship complete with stored birdseed for the parrot to the appeal of a cozy shared hammock chock full of sleeping pirates the illustrations offer a homey and welcoming view of life aboard a pirate ship.

Fresh and friendly, this is a great pirate book for young readers who will end up asking themselves if perhaps their parents are pirates during the day!  Appropriate for ages 4-6.

Reviewed from library copy.