Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review: Pirates on the Farm

This was a great week to review children's books, since we're on Thanksgiving break.  Pirates on the Farm received multiple readings today and was even written about by my 1st grader in his school reading log.  He chose this book over the 3-4 others he'd read today, so I know he liked it.

Here's my review of Pirates on the Farm:

Five wild and unsavory pirates cause an uproar in a "proper little southern community" when they purchase the farm next door to the narrator's family.  They lack both farming and social skills, which horrifies the mother.  The father, however, shares his farming expertise and friendship with his swashbuckling neighbors.  When the pirates steal from the church's collection plate and tear up the General Store, a "Ban the Buccaneers Brigade" begins to catalog the damage.  Only a timely sacrifice from one of the wronged townspeople can save the pirates from being run out of town.

The message of this story can be summed up in the father's words, "When you plant love, it grows."   While the story stands well on its own, the final page provides parents (and teachers) with questions leading to a discussion of the deeper meaning of the story:
  • Who is my neighbor?
  • What character most consistently lets his light shine before the pirates? 
  • How were X's (I won't give it away) actions Christ-like when the pirates' bill was paid?
The author's hope is that this story will inspire readers to show God's love to the "pirates" in their lives and plant seeds so that love will grow.

Perfect for ages 4-8 (even a 9-year-old who couldn't resist coming over to listen). Pirates on the Farm has fun characters, colorful illustrations, and includes a pirate glossary of Seadog Definitions at the end.

Pirates on the Farm
by Denette Fretze
Illustrations by Gene Barretta
Zonderkidz, 2013

I received a copy of this book from Thomas Nelson in return for an honest review.

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