Review: The Pirate Pig
If you have been reading my posts on Books in Bloom for a while, you have read about my daughter as a pre-schooler and as a kindergartener. Well, she is now a second grader, and she loves to read. She reads a lot of early chapter books on her own these days, but we are always looking for a good book to read aloud together. One Saturday morning we were browsing for a new read aloud in the children’s fiction section of our local branch library when my daughter spotted The Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke with its eye-catching cover facing out and promising adventure.
“Oh, I am going to like this book!” she said as she opened the book to find a page of fish drawings, including a marlin, a manta ray, and others. As she paged through the book a bit, she also found a drawing of a pirate ship with the various parts of the ship labeled. That was all it took to ensure that the book came home with us.
The Pirate Pig is the story of Stout Sam and Pip, who live and work on Butterfly Island. Their life is simple and comfortable until they find a pig washed up on the beach wearing a skull-and-crossbones necklace. The kind duo name the pig Julie and adopt her as their pet only to find that she has a special ability: Julie can smell treasure! Julie leads them to treasure chest after treasure chest, but soon their newfound wealth gets noticed by some pirates who want to use Julie’s treasure-finding ability for their own nefarious purposes. When Julie is kidnapped by Buccaneer Bill and his crew, Sam and Pip are determined to save their friend.
This daring adventure story has just the right level of danger to feel exciting to the new-to-chapter-books audience without being too scary. The charming illustrations and the bouncy language, which is full of silly seafaring expressions from Stout Sam, keep the story light and fun. It was enjoyable to read aloud, and it would be perfect to share in a classroom on Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19th). While there are no chapter breaks in this book, it will be right at home on the early chapter book shelves along with Emma and the Blue Genie and Ruffleclaw from this same author-illustrator team.
Emma and the Blue Genie by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer. 9780385375405. 2014. Gr. 2-4
The Pirate Pig by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer. 9780385375443. June 2015. Gr. 1-3
Ruffleclaw by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer. 9780385375504. November 2015. Gr. 1-3