Friday 24 February 2012

The Pirate Cruncher

Jonny Duddle loves pirates, which is quite fortunate because pirates are probably quite high up most children's 'favourite literary characters' lists. There's infinite scope for japery and all sorts of salty sea-dog tales, so it's not surprising to find that The Pirate Cruncher is a complete delight.

I'm familiar with Jonny Duddle's work through the FX Magazine "Digital Art" series of books. Duddle works in the digital domain (something I've dipped a toe in recently, see my other blog PeejArtist to see how I'm struggling!) and he's got a real way with rich bright colours, and of course cheeky pirate characters.

"The Pirate Cruncher" takes a pretty well-worn nautical cliche and turns it into a thoroughly entertaining tale. A wizened old fiddle player tells the story of great treasures (and great danger) on an island far out at sea. Catching the ear of the great pirate Purplebeard, the saucy cove rounds up his raggedy crew and sets sail to claim the treasure for himself.

You can imagine that things don't quite go according to plan, and though adults will see the end of the story coming a mile off, the way Duddle works so many tiny colourful little details into each page spread (including one huge foldout spread for the end of the book) will charm and delight children of all ages.

Charlotte's best bit: The naughty parrot

Daddy's favourite bit: Duddle's artwork, just sublime, wish I could paint like that!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars