Pirate Nell’s Tale to Tell: A Storybook Adventure

Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky. Sept. 2020. 40p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781492698678.
Gr 1-4–Nell is beyond excited to begin her life as a pirate. She has read all about pirating in her favorite books, and she knows that the real experience is going to be even better than she can imagine. However, Captain Gnash is not the most supportive leader; he does not approve of Nell or her love of reading. Even though the crew takes to her quickly, Nell finds her spirits dampen when she is assigned only menial tasks. At a particularly low point, Nell makes a wish and she is rewarded with a treasure map—one that is promptly commandeered by the captain. A nasty storm tests Nell’s pirate skills and, when the sky clears, the crew discovers one of the greatest treasures of all. Vibrant, detailed illustrations feature dogs of all kinds. A pleasant rhyming meter recounts Nell’s story, breaking from its eight-syllable pattern only occasionally. Some challenging vocabulary serves to enhance children’s understanding of new words, and the overall message places books and reading in a position of great importance.
VERDICT Just in time for Talk Like a Pirate Day, this book is a perfect addition to school and library curricula for elementary school–aged readers.

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