CaptSnachReview of: Captain Snatchit’s Parrot: Three Pirate Stories

Author: Emma Laybourn

This book actually consists of three separate adventure stories. Each of the books is set up as a chapter book. There is a lot of colorful, pirate language especially in the first book of the trilogy. Many children will love this feature even though it will make independent reading of the book more difficult. In the first book, which is titled The Pirate’s Parrot, we meet Neptune, Captain Snatchit’s mistreated parrot. When the ship is attacked, the pirates man the life boats and Neptune is cast off on his own. Just when he is at the point of exhaustion, Neptune spies an island which is inhabited by parrots and monkeys. He settles into a normal life with friends and fun. But soon after a ship is spied on the horizon and the parrots will have to find a way to dispose of the pirates.

In the second story called Captain Snatchit’s Revenge, the captain realizes he has been outwitted and finds a way to get back to the island by hijacking a fishing boat. The crafty parrots must again find a way to trick the pirates and sink their ship.  The fishermen suffer the loss of their fishing boat, but the parrots are sure they are rid of  those pirates for good this time!

Book Three is named The Wreck of the Seahag. The pirates return with a salvage ship ready to raise the Seaslug. Neptune realizes that Captain Snatchit will not give up. He despairs but Liana urges him on implying that they are smarter and can outwit him.  All the inhabitants of the island work together to come up with a clever scheme to defeat the pirates. Will they finally succeed in their mission and regain their peaceful home?  The book is an adventure filled with moral lessons. Underlying the story are  lessons like the value of team work and cooperation, the need to be honest, truthful, and courageous, the need to be strong, and not give in to your weaknesses.

The structure of the story allows the reader to stop at the end of each book or read it in one sitting. It is suitable for a read aloud or can be developed into a series of classroom discussions.  I recommend it as independent reading for ages five and six. Younger children will enjoy the simple pictures and the story when accompanied by the explanations of parent or teacher. As a bonus, you may visit the author’s website http://megamousebooks.com/puzzlepageslist.html to download a free pirate crossword puzzle!

Available at http://freekidsbooks.org/  for download, printing or as an e reader.