No one walks the plank and no one pillages anyone else in a new book from "former biker-bar employee" and former editor of Buzzfeed Books Isaac Fitzgerald, whose new book How To Be A Pirate, was snapped up by my tiny swashbucklers before I even presented it to them. (They pillaged it from inside my tote bad.)
Illustrated by Brigette Barrager (Uni The Unicorn), the story follows CeCe, a little girl who is told she can't play on the very fire-looking tree house the neighborhood boys are using to play pirates. Upset, she seeks out her grandfather, a trusted confidante and likely pirate — his arms are covered in tattoos that suggest far-off adventures.
CeCe asks him to explain each tattoo — a ship, a lady dancing — that she might learn how to be a pirate. Barrager's illustrations take you across the ocean, into new lands, but also find comfort in the cozy kitchen where Grandpa sits in his stripy t-shirt eating breakfast, his own battles behind him. The lesson is not just to be brave and quick and to have fun (why else does one get into the pirate business?), but about the love between grandfather and grandchild — Fitzgerald has long been concerned with focusing on the good. After a chat with her grandfather, CeCe runs off with fleet feet and a full heart.
With the tender spirit of Dad By My Side and the energy of Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don't Do Bedtime!, How To Be A Pirate gives little readers a jolt of fun, and a reason to go pelting toward those boys in the treehouse like a conquerer.
"I LOVE being a pirate!" yells CeCe — don't we all?
How To Be A Pirate by Isaac Fitzgerald, and illustrated by Brigette Barrager is out now from Bloomsbury Children's Books.