Dirty Rotten Pirates Mom Review

Be forewarned: After reading this book, your kids might call each other “matey” and threaten to make you walk the plank if you feed them spinach and broccoli. Then again, you might cook them fish- and onion-filled salmagundi for dinner if they don’t mend the ship’s sails or ropes…

Dirty Rotten Pirates: A Truly Revolting Guide to Pirates and Their World is not for the faint of heart. The illustrations alone might give a child (or grown up!) the shivers. There are illustrations—and text to go along with—of a pirate looking up in fright at a “doctor” about to saw off his injured limb and another deceased pirate left to hang in the gallows for years after he took his last breath. Gruesome for sure, though what else would you expect from a book about pirates? These chaps were not known for their high-quality manners and impeccable oral hygiene!

Therefore, it is appropriate that the target age range for this book is slightly older than the normal picture book range. The publisher recommends this book for 8 to 11 year olds.

That said, Dirty Rotten Pirates delivers on its promise to teach your child about dirty, rotten pirates in a pretty revolting way. Each chapter showcases a different aspect of piracy, and each page is jam-packed with information about the history and life of pirates. I found myself spending the time to read all the facts, fascinated by the band of brothers that existed on each ship. This book, especially because of those gruesome illustrations mentioned above, is highly entertaining.

But is also really informative and, dare I say, educational! The book is loaded with facts on the history and culture of pirates. Aside from historical lessons, the real-life tie-ins were easy to make. Dirty Rotten Pirates included a chapter on captains; I easily explained to my kids how all groups need leaders that balance choosing the way and also being responsible to the group. The chapter on the “Pirate Code” made me think of the classroom rules each of my children helped create for their respective classrooms. Rules to which everyone agrees helps a society run as smoothly as possible. The chapter “Get to Work” outlines the small, less glamorous jobs needed for ships to remain running well; I recalled my daughter’s surprise at finding out that only half of her horseback riding lesson would be spent on a horse. The other half was doing less glamorous tasks to take care of the horse.

Who knew a fearsome group of pirates could teach so much?

I must reiterate: this book is definitely not for the faint of heart! But if you can get past the very pictures that will draw your child like a magnet to this book, there is a whole lot of fascinating information in here. I bet the author read four or five text-heavy books, and your child gets the fun result of her research—with crazy illustrations to boot!

Dirty Rotten Pirates: A Truly Revolting Guide to Pirates and Their World

By Moira Butterfield

Publisher: Hatchette UK Company

URL: www.hatchette.co.uk

Available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-a-Million!

MSRP: approximately $8.00

Ages: 8-11 years


Readability 5
Illustrations 5
Kept my Child(ren’s) Interest
Appealed to Both Boys and Girls
I Would Purchase for My Child Yes
I Would Purchase as a Gift  Yes
Overall Rating

All ratings on a scale of 1 (low) to 5 (high).


Meet the Reviewer!

Kate Schwarz is a full-time mom and wife living in Great Falls, VA. In addition to reading to her three small children, Kate is awriter, distance runner, Crossfitter and blogger about raising kids with books at www.katesbookery.blogspot.com

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