Posts tagged ‘Monsters’

Ned the Knitting Pirate

Ned the Knitting Pirate.jpgTitle: Ned the Knitting Pirate
Author: Diana Murray
Illustrator: Leslie Lammle
ISBN: 9781596438903
Pages: unpaged
Publisher/Date: Roaring Brook Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership, c2016.

We’re pirates, we’re pirates, out sailing the sea
So scruffy and scrappy and happy are we.
We’re tougher than gristle and barnacle grit.
We heave, and we ho, and we swab, and we . . .

KNIT! Or at least that’s what Ned does. The other pirates, especially the captain, aren’t so enthusiastic about Ned’s hobby, and orders the needles to be stowed. But Ned’s knitting might be the only things that saves the Rusty Heap from becoming an ocean beast’s feast. Jaunty, rollicking rhymes can be sang as a sea shanty, although the uneven numbering scheme makes a sometimes rough transition from the narration to the song the pirate’s sing, which gets repeated but not verbatim. Readers get an advanced glimpse of the threatening sea monster (resembling if Slimer from Ghostbusters had been crossed with an octopus and a mermaid’s tail) on the title page, along with a fully clothed mermaid (she wears a shirt instead of a bikini top) who seems to be its caretaker. It’s little details like that, along with the anthropomorphic critters scattered throughout the ship and the ever-growing knitting project which matches Ned’s knit, tri-cornered hat, that add whimsy to the story. Keep in your trunk for a new spin on Talk Like a Pirate Day in September.

Two Roaring Press Books about knitting in the same year (the other one being Leave Me Alone, being reviewed tomorrow)! Is this one of those weird trends that pop up on occasion?

Quit Calling Me a Monster!

Quit Calling Me a Monster.jpgTitle: Quit Calling Me A Monster
Author: Jory John
Illustrator: Bob Shea
ISBN: 9780385389907
Pages: unpaged
Publisher/Date: Random House Children’s Books, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, c2016.

Quit calling me a monster!

In this tongue-and-cheek criticism, purple furred Floyd Peterson (who looks like a cousin It with limbs, facial features, and a bad dye job) insists that people refrain from calling him a monster. He’s frustrated that just because he hides under beds, makes noises when sleeping in your closet, and admits “technically” IS a monster, doesn’t mean you can’t call him by his name. Several lessons could be covertly gleaned from the book, including name calling is not nice, words can have different meanings, and confronting/naming your fear can make things less scary. Floyd’s bright purple fur means he pops regardless of what solid colored background illustrator Bob Shea places him on. The choice to give Floyd a snazzy bowler and matching bow-tie certainly makes him less scary than other monsters we could meet, and the roaring and snoring necessary for an enjoyable monster story is included.

Monster Needs a Party

Monster Needs a PartyTitle: Monster Needs a Party
Author: Paul Czajak
Illustrator: Wendy Grieb
ISBN: 9781938063558
Pages: unpaged
Publisher/Date: Mighty Media Kids, an imprint of Mighty Media Press, a division of Mighty Media, Inc., c2015

Monster needs a party since another year has passed.
He skipped and roared around the house, “My birthday’s here AT LAST!”

Monster is so excited for his pirate themed birthday, but then he learns that no one can come. Facing a kid’s worst nightmare, the kid who cares for Monster takes him to a pirate amusement park instead, where they have fun riding the rides and playing the carnival games, coming home to one final surprise. I’ll admit that the pictures make me question the dynamics of the world as the boy is the only one in the entire park with a monster in tow instead of a parent. We see adults at the Pirate Land as parents and employees, so where are they in the lives of Monster and his boy? Besides this detail, the story is a rollicking ride, and the rhymes flow well. The pictures are filled with bright bold colors, and author and illustrator both got quite clever with the details of Pirate Land. Pirates and monsters together merge two popular concepts together, although if there’s an upcoming birthday boy or girl in the audience they may think their next party is going to end up just like Monster’s did.

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