Sunday, May 15, 2011
I love pirates, despite the fact that my ancestor Risdeárd an Iarainn Bourke ‒ known as "Iron Richard" ‒ was killed by his wife, Pirate Queen Granuaile, after a year and a day of marriage.
But I digress.
The Brave Monkey Pirate is a free iStoryTime iPad app that tells the story of Moki, who has to go to the doctor's to get an injection to prevent scurvy!
This is a wonderful tale ‒ with great illustrations ‒ that will help young children better manage their fear of doctors and injections. The voice over narrator is a child, which could bring a younger reader closer to the story. There are no interaction opportunities so it's more of an eBook than an app, but as it's free it would be churlish to kvetch about that point. This story is original and fun and would appeal to any child, and indeed help them overcome their fear of going to the doctors. Rating: 3.5 / 5.
The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook, by Jason Heller, published by Quirk Books, price $18.95 (ISBN: 9781594745041 Pages: 176) is an informative, humorous read about all things pirate-y ‒ even Granuaile gets a mention!
It starts with a fitting disclaimer ‒
"Pirates, by nature, aren't terribly literate. As a consequence, no book can hope to fully prepare the pampered, modern-day layabout for the lusty life of a pirate." (10)
But the allure of living the pirate life and being "as free as an albatross on a gulf breeze" (12), means that a handbook is necessary, and who better to guide a would-be pirate than Captain Jack Sparrow!
There are a lot of fun sections in this book, including: 'Pirate Insults,' 'Top 10 Pirate Superstitions,' 'How to Break a Curse,' and the all-important guide to getting a Treasure Map tattoo.
I was particularly impressed by its rebuttal of the 'no women on board' nonsense:
"Being obligated to hide one's gender to serve as a pirate is, of course, ludicrous. In fact it flies in the face of one's primary yet unspoken tenets: that social conventions and stereotypes are there to be shattered and that a pirate, of all people, should know better than to judge and look down on others." (66)
The Handbook is well-written and beautifully designed and would make a great gift for those aged 14 and up. Rating: 4 / 5.
I had a lot of fun with this pirate-themed review; it kind of makes me wish it were September 19 already...