Book Review: P is for Pirate – A Pirate Alphabet by Eve Bunting

Book Review: P is for Pirate – A Pirate Alphabet by Eve Bunting

Title: P is for Pirate: A Pirate Alphabet
Author: Eve Bunting
Illustrator: John Manders
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Hardcover: 40 pages
Source: Chicago Overdrive
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)

The word pirate means one who plunders on the sea, and piracy has been around for as long as men and women have longed for adventure and lusted for riches. But it wasn’t all fun and pillaging! Being a pirate was not an easy life. Written by award-winning author Eve Bunting, poetry and expository text are used in this alphabetical examination of the history of piracy. Topics include legendary ships, fabled hideouts, and notorious villains like Edward Teach, also known as Blackbeard. Includes the pirate code of conduct as well as the different occupations aboard ship.

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Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5

This is a fun picture book depicting caricature-like renditions of pirates and ships and related things. Formatting a nonfiction book about pirates as an alphabet book is a fun way to delve into various aspects of the pirate life and give a brief overview of its history; P is for Pirate gives just enough of a taste of various things that children will be able to figure out what they’re interested in learning more about (e.g. ships, Blackbeard, women pirates, etc.) and go from there, if they want to explore the subject further. This book covers topics from Henry Morgan and Blackbeard to the types of ships pirates used to sail on, and where they used to sail to. It’s very informative and the illustrations are lovely.

I have one complaint, though. I’m not really sure who this book is supposed to be for; the alphabet theme and caricatured illustrations make it seem like it’s for quite a young audience, but then there’s blocks of text on the side that have vocabulary and sentence structure appropriate for more of an older audience, like middle grade children. I’m not sure if middle graders would enjoy the alphabet theme, though they may enjoy the historical content. It’s not a huge deal, it’s just a bit confusing and harder to be able to tell which age group will enjoy this most.

In any case, I do think that this is a great introduction book for children who want to learn more about pirates and their history. I think it’d be a great read-aloud book for families, which would help offset the problems created by having large text for what looks to be a young children’s book; I certainly can see it help sparking children’s interest in learning more about history.

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