Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure by Colin Hawkins and Jacqui Hawkins

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Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure by Colin Hawkins and Jacqui Hawkins

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Dave Martin
Reviewed by Dave Martin
Summary: We thought this book had a lot of promise with its search for treasure, fairytales and a treasure map but it failed to live up to expectation and we're unable to recommend a purchase.
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Maybe
Pages: 40 Date: November 2006
Publisher: Walker Books Ltd
ISBN: 184428879X

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It is impossible to express how much I wanted to love Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure. On initial appearances this book has everything: the tale of a pirate's search for treasure, several other much-loved fairytales and the added bonus of a colourful cardboard treasure map for my child to follow. This really could have been the book that has it all. It should have made the perfect book to share with my three-year-old daughter.

Unfortunately, Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure is something of a mixed up letdown. The tale starts off promisingly enough with the introduction of Jack Hubbard (of Jack and the Beanstalk fame) and his Pirate Uncle Captain Hubbard's madcap tale of a long lost treasure. The old and forgotten map that the Pirate shows Jack is a neat touch as my daughter also has the same map to follow and Jack's initial adventures on the high seas are an exciting and imaginative tale of mutiny. Unfortunately, once Jack gets onto terra firma, the book starts to go downhill.

Jack's journey across the landscape towards the treasure means he must encounter various characters from fairytales. However, rather than using this as an opportunity to add a new spin to classic stories such as Hansel and Gretel, the authors simply recount word for word the stories we all know and love. There is no interaction - our protagonist, Jack, plays no part in these large segments of the book but simply vanishes from the story. We rejoin him much later on only for him to become detached again as the Billy Goat's Gruff take centre stage. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of all of these children's tales, it just seemed like a massively wasted opportunity. My child already has read the traditional tales and knows them well, so by offering nothing new this book does not hold her attention.

Undoubtedly, the most disappointing thing about Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure is that it has so much wasted potential. The illustrations are rich, colourful and vibrant and retain a childlike quality that my daughter can enjoy. Likewise the writing is descriptive and filled with onomatopoeia that both myself and my child can enjoy. Indeed, there is nothing more amusing to my daughter than watching her dad do his oohs and aahs in the Deep, Dark Wood. The characters are likeable and loathable as appropriate, but play such small parts that it is difficult for my daughter to remember them. It is nice however, to see the "bad guys" given their comeuppance as this gives the book a strong moral theme of cause and consequence throughout.

All in all I remain disenchanted with Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure. It has some nice ideas, but ultimately, they are poorly executed and I find my daughter is more interested in making up her own story to go with the accompanying treasure map than in paying any attention to the story. Maybe I expected too much?

Buy Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure by Colin Hawkins and Jacqui Hawkins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure by Colin Hawkins and Jacqui Hawkins at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure by Colin Hawkins and Jacqui Hawkins at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pirate Treasure Map: A Fairytale Adventure by Colin Hawkins and Jacqui Hawkins at Amazon.com.


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