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Hand: Seek out buried treasure in these pirate stories

Luci Hand

Luci Hand

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Updated: October 9, 2013 7:24PM



What would you do if a bunch of pirates moved in next door?

We find out from Jonny Doddle in “The Pirates Next Door,” which features the Jooley Rogers group of pirates.

Matilda lives in Dull-on-Sea, a gloomy seaside town. The house next door has been for sale forever and ‘Tilda is thrilled when a pirate boy, Jim Lad, moves in, complete with his wooden-legged dog and pirate ship in the driveway.

These pirates are definitely different. Jim Lad goes on to introduce the rest of the family, parents, sibling and grandfather. Matilda is very excited at breakfast the next morning but her parents do not share her enthusiasm.

“There goes the neighborhood!”

We watch as the neighbors fight the pirates, telling tales and getting up petitions. Then, Jim Lad comes to Matilda and tells her that they are moving on, the ship is ready.

He says that they will leave some gifts, and with the help of a fold-out, we see the X in every yard. Of course, it marks the treasure left.

All of a sudden, pirates are popular. The inside of the book jacket has a family tree of the pirates. Watch for word plays.

I love alphabet books. Dave Horowitz brings us “Twenty Six Pirates.”

We begin with “Pirate Arty, First at the Party” and continue to “Pirate Zach, The final attack.”

Put them all together and on the last two pages you see a very crowded pirate ship showing all the members of the team.

Captain declares that they will need a bigger boat. Names make the hard letters easier to illustrate but I am very disappointed that there are no girl pirates.

I know that they were few and far between but they did exist and deserve a shot at it here.

What happens to a “pirate dog”? In the beginning novel by Liz Kesster, we meet “Poppy The Pirate Dog.”

Poppy is a Dalmatian by appearance. I have never thought about what kind of dogs pirates would have but Dalmatians don’t fit, somehow.

Poppy and his family are going on vacation to the beach and when he finds a scarf with skulls and crossbones on it, he decides he is meant to be a pirate dog. We follow him through several adventures as he tries to find his perfect ship.

Picture a sea sick dog. A fishing boat, a speed boat and a pedal boat don’t make the cut. We cheer when a slow and steady barge type is just his cup of grog.

Brought to us by Tundra Books of Canada and Ed Butts, “X Doesn’t Mark the Spot” tells us about treasure hunting in Canada.

This is for the older reader and tells about the pirates and the adventurers behind the legends of buried or sunken treasures.

We also investigate “lost” mines and other sources of hidden treasure. It is interesting to see that some were scams and some were just plain fanciful.

A few of the seekers got lucky but most did not find the treasure they set out to discover. Maybe some are still there?



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