Two Little Pirates

Two Little Pirates by Ruth Paul

I must preface this review by saying that this is a book from New Zealand, so it’s not available in the US.  I received it from the author and publisher, Scholastic New Zealand.  Ruth Paul’s books are available in Canada as well as Australia and New Zealand.

In rhyming couplets, this book follows two little pirates who attack the King and the Queen.  They are actually two little boys who pounce on their sleeping parents dressed as pirates.  After a brief battle, the parents prevail and the two pirates are hung over the edge of the ship to become shark bait.  When they beg to be released, the King and Queen agree on one condition: that they tidy up the mess they made.  When that is accomplished, they have a nice snack in bed and then everyone cuddles up and dozes as the bed sails off.

Paul keeps a wonderful balance between imaginary play and reality in this title.  At all times, the ship which is the bed is surrounded by water, until the children have finally given up their pirate roles and become children again.  Additionally, the parents respond with great delight to their young pirates and the attack.  The battle is merrily fought, the capture and punishment is doled out in character, and the snack and cuddles conclude.  What a great way to spend a lazy morning together!

Paul’s art is bright and friendly.  She revels in the play along with the family, enjoying the different angles that the bed can be viewed in throughout.  Done in watercolor and colored pencil, the art has a great clarity of line and depth of color.

This is one pirate bed that is definitely worth sailing on.  Children will revel in the story though parents should be braced for a morning invasion after reading it.  Parents should also be open to snacks in bed, crumbs and all.  But who could resist if it ends with cuddles and a snooze?  Appropriate for ages 2-5.

Reviewed from copy received from publisher.