Pirate Stew by Lou Carter
Illustrated by Nikki Dyson
Published by Hachette Australia
Date: 12 December 2017
I cannot describe how much fun it was reading Pirate Stew to a group of preschoolers a few days ago. There was an amazing amount of laughter especially when catfish says “Just look what you’ve done…I’m meant to have whiskers and now I have none.” The group was concerned about the bubbling stew, were fascinated by the pirates and laughed hard when there was a bubble soaked pirate ship.
For this group the end was a little lost on them and I had to explain it. Had the children been of school age they would have had a better understanding. In many ways it doesn’t matter that the ending got a bit lost because they enjoyed the remainder of the book so much that it was overall a wonderfully, fun experience.
The Rhythm of the words flow well, which made the book easy to read to a group, and is ideal for a early reader. The author made good use of onomatopoeia – using words such as SPLOOSH! SNIP! SNIP! STOP! and GASP!
When text and illustrations flow seamlessly together you know that you are reading a good book, and this book is just that. Most of the illustrations are funny and they look so ‘squeaky’ clean, the expressions on the characters faces are expressive and the abundance of colour is engaging to the eye. If you look closely at the pictures you will notice pirates picking their noses and hairs on their backs, in contrast there are frogs blowing bubbles out of shells, and the occasional play on words that only adults will recognise.
Overall, the book is funny, playful, engaging and quite possibly bonkers…perfect for a children with a sense of humor.
Thank you to Hachette for the opportunity to read and review this book.