Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English and Duncan Beedie

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Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English and Duncan Beedie

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: A fun mixture of pirates and vehicles - silly, but great for little eyepatch-wearing, building site obsessives!
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 32 Date: May 2015
Publisher: Little Tiger Press
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781848861732

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Ah, that age old dilemma or whether to go into the family business or whether to set out alone and follow your dreams! In this story we meet Brad, who has been born into a family of pirates but who dreams of life on a building site. His dad (friendly looking pirate though he is) has no time for Brad's nonsense, and packs him off to sea to learn what pirates do. Is this to be a tale of tragedy and woe? Don't worry, Brad may get to drive a digger after all…

This is a story that is told in rhyme, of course. It's a good, strong, pirate-y rhyme too and so the words flow easily as you read them aloud and although there's only one 'yo ho ho' to shout there's lots of action throughout the story. The story itself works well for little ones. It's a rare toddler who won't sit down for a quick pirate story, I've found, and this is a fun one to read aloud with a large group. It's easy to follow what's happening to Brad in the story too, and interesting enough that older toddlers and those just starting school will still find it fun. Personally, I had a few issues with poor Brad's treatment - he's berated when he fails to read the compass correctly, and admonished for being lily-livered when facing a giant octopus. I felt for poor Brad and his dreams of being on a building site! Still, it's a little silly to be worrying about harsh treatment in a pirate story as I suppose that's par for the course!

For those of you concerned that Brad is forced into an unhappy career as a pirate forever, I can reveal that all is not lost and actually Brad discovers a way to combine both digging and pirating (because if you think about it, it takes a really long time to dig down to the treasure with just a spade…) so you can rest assured that a happy ending is in the offing. I liked the fun illustrations through the story. They carry the tale along very well, and support all your favourite pirate stereotypes (hook for a hand, wooden leg, spotted handkerchief headscarf) and there is also a female pirate, which I felt was a nice addition, though her rather revealing top seems highly impractical to me! The pictures are bright and interesting, with plenty to look at and funny extras such as a cheeky crab and a grumpy seagull. I liked the stubbly-faced builders, and I also liked that the final picture is hidden away on the back page, so although you think the story might be finished, it isn't quite! This is lots of fun for little ones, and great to read aloud.

Further reading suggestion: if you like to keep your pirates separate from your diggers then take a look at Class Three All At Sea by Julia Jarman and Lynne Chapman or The Three Little Pirates by Georgie Adams and Emily Bolam, and for vehicular fun our favourite go-to book is Busiest People Ever by Richard Scarry

Buy Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English and Duncan Beedie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English and Duncan Beedie at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English and Duncan Beedie at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Pirates Don't Drive Diggers by Alex English and Duncan Beedie at Amazon.com.


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