Pirates Don’t Go To School – Alan MacDonald, illustrated by Magda Brol

  Pirates Don’t Go To School – Alan MacDonald, illustrated by Magda Brol, Tiger Tales, 9781680101560, 2019

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Picture

What did you like about the book? This would be a great book to read for any child who is a little nervous about attending school.  

In this story, we meet a pirate family that is busy doing pirate things out at sea. One day, the young son named Jake decides to tell the family he wants to go to school. They are all horrified because pirates do not go to school. They then explained to Jake that school is hard and horrible, with rotten work and rotten rules, and that the teachers are as mean as sea monsters. Jake is insistent, so off to school he goes–with his parrot Polly tucked under his hat. The beginning of school is fine until Polly frees herself from under the hat and takes off on a wild adventure around the school. Eventually Polly is retrieved (with a cookie, of course) and Jake resumes his fun-filled day at school. As a matter of fact, he told his family how much fun he had at school that they decided to go with him the next day–I guess pirates do go to school after all.

There were a couple of things that I really thought were important about this book. The reader does see diversity in the children including different ethnicities but also disabilities. Also, as the children chase Polly around the school, we see different parts of a school such as the playground, gym, even the principal. This would be a good way for children to get acquainted with the school environment.

Anything you didn’t like about it?  Nothing

To whom would you recommend this book? Perfect for children between the ages of four and six.

Who should buy this book? Public and school libraries, preschools, daycare centers, anyone who works with children between the ages of four and six.

Where would you shelve it? Picture books

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, great addition to “Back To School” books.

Reviewer  Kristin Guay, former youth librarian

Date of review: August 1, 2019


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