A few more Cybils nominations that I personally liked, all with a piratical slant:
"Let's find gold," said Anna.
"That would be dangerous and difficult," said Crocodile.
"Good!" said Anna. "Let's go!"
Well, how can you not instantly like Anna? And Crocodile while occasionally the voice of reason, is never a wet blanket. This story is delightfully silly and full of adventure. The logic in it almost makes me feel like one of my kids wrote it - not a bad thing, they come up with some pretty wild stories! Visually appealing, an a perfect read-aloud to entertain both kids and their parents.
Speaking of visually appealing...
The illustrations are definitely the star of this show. The pirates, big and small, are instantly likable. They and their finds are in color, with almost everything else in black and white. Poring over details can keep little ones occupied for hours (where's that monkey this time?) Sparingly written text starts us off with "an old ship" and "a sad friend", then carries us off on a swapping adventure. Future rummage sale aficionados will be tantalized by the deal-making, as one loose button is traded for two teacups...which become three coils of rope...which become...in due time, a new ship, and two happy friends!
In addition to a ship, every pirate needs the perfect pet. Of course, anyone who knows anything about pirates knows just what that should be, but it takes Captain Crave a bit longer to figure that out. He and his crew search the beach (an octopus is too clingy), the farm (geese are too bossy), and the zoo (well...now he has his peg leg, at least!) Children will giggle all the way through, and cheer when he finally meets his soul-mate (in a perfectly appropriate way). Another sure hit for story time.
Remember, the Cybils Fiction Picture Books finalists will be announced January 1 at Cybils.com! There are seven first-round panelists including myself, and we had over 200 books to choose from, so a good or bad review from me does not necessarily indicate placement on the final list.