Small Knight and George and the Pirates: Ronda Armitage & Arthur Robins (Orchard Books, 2012)
I’ve been trying to get my head around writing about this book because it’s a bit of an odd one for me. It’s got pirates. It’s got a dragon. It’s silly. But… For some reason I don’t quite love it, but I can’t work out why. Because there are so many good points of this book, I really ought to like it more than I do.
Small Knight’s castle is falling to pieces and his parents are worried about fixing it. Money worries are probably something that all small children pick up on, and to have it actually mentioned in a book gives it a more accessible place. Especially a book where things work out well for everyone.
There are lots of different words to increase a small child’s vocabulary like ‘turquoise’ and ‘provisions’ and ‘wallowing’. And some lovely alliteration like ‘wallowing waves’ and ‘prattling parrots’.
Female pirates! Okay, so they’re the secondary characters after Small Knight and his crew, but they are female without any comment. They just are, and it shows that pirates can be either gender.
Captain Swashmebuckle’s treasure isn’t gold and jewell-er-y but her beloved parrots. Showing that money isn’t everything, and things that are important to us are worth more.
This is the third in a series, and I’ve not read the others. In this book, George the dragon seems superfluous as a character. I don’t know if he never speaks or does anything in the others, but it’s a shame he hasn’t got more of a part in this one because as a first time reader of the series I can’t see the point of his character!
It’s got pirates. It’s silly. It’s got lots of good points. It ought to be a 5* book, but it just didn’t quite work for us. Would be great for pirate-mad children who love words and silly stories.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Small Knight and George and the Pirates by Hachette Childrens Books for review. No other financial reward was given and the opinions are my own. I was not asked to write this post.