Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Book talk: Shiver Me Timbers: Pirate Poems by Douglas Florian and Robert Neubecker

Pirates are good at being nasty, smelly, and rude. It takes a lot of work, and they take it very seriously. If you’re a pirate, there are strict dress and behavior codes you must follow: “Pirates wear patches. / Pirates have hooks. / They all play with matches. / And give dirty looks.” How are your dirty looks? Have you been practising them? These pirate poems will get you back up to speed with all of that, trust me.

If you’re a pirate, you have to do a really great evil grin, too. You have to get your pirate language memorized, as well: a rotten pirate is a “scurvy dog,” and a villainous person is a “scallywag.” Are you getting this? Say “aye,” if you are! My favorite poem in this book of pirate poetry is “The Pirates’ Code of Conduct.” “Don’t take a bath. / Avoid all math. / It’s best to yell / And blessed to smell. / Act rash and rude. Dash down yer food…”

Speaking of food, the poem, “Pirates’ Meal” will let you know exactly what your weekly meals will consist of. Can you guess what the main food group is? No, it’s not McDonalds. It’s much, much worse.

Shiver Me Timbers: Pirate Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian, pirates by Robert Neubecker. Unpaged. Beach Lane Books, 2012. Booktalk to grades 1-5.

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