Review from D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review:
Cap’n McNasty’s Pirate Guide is yet another a fine pairing of illustrator Stan Jaskiel’s large-size, colorful drawings with Michael Lewis’s pirate-themed story in a rhyming picture book for ages 4-7 years.
The only prerequisites for appreciation of this addition to the ongoing series is an interest in pirates, an ability to absorb pirate lingo and rhyming descriptions (“Me name is Cap’n McNasty/Lookin’ fer a crew./If ya want to be a pirate,/This is what ya do!”), and an enjoyment of humor, which underlies this pirate’s ‘how to’ handbook.
Lewis points out that a pirate’s life isn’t all adventure and fun. There are swords to polish, decks to swab, rigging to climb, sails to maintain, and close quarters to cope with. In addition, relationships with other pirates require basic decency and manners, even from bad guys (“Even for a pirate crew,/It’s considered rude/While eatin’ to pass stinky gas/From the cook’s fine food!”).
Kids who enjoyed the previous rollicking, colorful pirate adventures may at first be stymied by the instructional tone of this pirate handbook, but its humorous observations and fun create a lively interface between the adventurous idea of roaring cannons and chests of stolen treasure and the practical aspects of maintaining a pirate ship.
Parents and teachers who choose this for read-aloud fun will find Cap’n McNasty’s Pirate Guide especially strong in its plays on ideas and messages about the kinds of skills any pirate needs (which may be gained from school) to become a more effective pirate (such as learning counting in order to be able to fairly divide the loot with one’s mates!).
An imaginative, fun instructional, Cap’n McNasty’s Pirate Guide is recommended reading for young would-be pirates.