The Buccaneering Book of Pirates (Pop Up Books) by Saviour Pirotta
|The Buccaneering Book of Pirates (Pop Up Books) by Saviour Pirotta|
|Category: Confident Readers|
|Reviewer: John Lloyd|
|Summary: A whopping interactive, evocative, card element makes this just about worth buying – oh yes, and there's also a slight book alongside that, too.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Maybe|
|Pages: 24||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Frances Lincoln Children's Books|
I've said before now that it strikes me as odd that pirates have hung around so long. You can't blame it all on Johnny Depp either, yet people are still willing to revisit stories of old, pieces of eight, legs of wood and spots of black. Saviour Pirotta offers a four page truncation of Treasure Island in his book here, along with five other short tales from the genre. The others are more original, just as is the bonus element you get when you buy this title…
Well, I say original. Here's one about Davy Jones' locker, here's the one with the feisty woman, here are exotic climes, here's Blackbeard… You don't have to search far to find similar content elsewhere. And, I dare say it, much better written. The balance of the Treasure Island tale is a little off, and elsewhere they seem to be scene-setting for a page, then a middle for a bit, and a limply-achieved paragraph to end. They're readable, they cover all you need – a simple black and white good versus bad, and a range of different kinds of boat – but that's about it. No attempt is made to really punch out a twist, nowhere does he really evoke piracy (or victimhood) and nothing reaches much in the way of drama.
Still, the illustrations are good.
As is the other fifty per cent of this – well, is it a book, or a toy? The other fifty per cent of this object then. Upon buying it you fold the huge hardback mass of it out to find it exceedingly hard to hold so you can access the paperback book stuck to the right hand side, while the left side is a large card pocket for a whopping 3D pirate in card poster form. An ugly pirate mug stares out at you, his chest bulges towards you, and he's really quite placid and sedate considering you can take his dagger out his wooden leg, prod about at his gems, open up his stashes of treasure and do various things to interact with him. At least the captions here are well written – and there's a key at the bottom to tie the contents of the wall-hanging to the stories. So you might just return to them again, however mediocre and inconsequential they are, after all.
In all, however, I felt the card-craft of the poster element much more professionally produced than the actual book part. And I think I ought to have enjoyed that more – this is a book site after all. Still, never mind – this deluxe object has given me a second side to itself with the poster, and has just about managed to give itself a second wind too – so it might do well on the gift book shelves this Christmas.
I must thank the publishers for my review copy.
Pirates 'n' Pistols by Chris Mould is much better, and just as lavish, but for a slightly older audience. The Captain Jack Sparrow Handbook: A Guide to Swashbuckling with the Pirates of the Caribbean by Jason Heller is more competent, but older still.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Buccaneering Book of Pirates (Pop Up Books) by Saviour Pirotta at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Buccaneering Book of Pirates (Pop Up Books) by Saviour Pirotta at Amazon.com.
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