Yes, it's that time to gear up for the dreaded holiday list-making. So I was delighted to get a chance to preview PIRATE SANTA (c'mon, it's pirates!). Overall, I liked this book but it's definitely something that each parent will have to decide for themselves (or rather, their children).
THE EASY PART: The story is meant to be read in the cadence of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
. There are a few awkward phrasing moments, but it could have been that I was out of practice. More importantly for kids, the graphics are wonderful. Vibrant and detailed yet not so busy to overwhelm the eye. The kids especially loved the sharks.
THE KID TEST: I tried this out on a 3yo and a 7yo. The 3yo wasn't so thrilled with the early pictures (a bit too dark and scary). He listened but kept his head buried against me until near the end. The 7yo? Well, he enjoyed it more, but then we got to a certain part of the story and he made a very accurate observation. It was a moral point and something which I could not contradict or explain away so... onto the next page!
THE PARENT TEST: I wasn't sure about some of the messages underlying the story. First, Pirate Girl and Ninja Boy aren't eligible for Christmas gifts because...why? It's never said so I'm wondering if it's because they're the children of a pirate? Second, there is "the end justifies the means" moment (e.g., the 7yo noted that stealing Santa's magic dust was wrong, even to do good). Lastly, while I agree with the ending of "You don't have to be perfect, just try to be kind", I wasn't sure how that fit with the beginning of "even children not eligible for Santa's attention deserve something" (which goes back to why Pirate Girl and Ninja Boy were "ineligible" in the first place). Troubling because children, no matter the age, should learn that actions have consequences.Disclosure: Copy provided by NetGalley on behalf of the publisher, without any obligation to review.