Monday, January 27, 2014

Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party by Lucy Coats and Chris Mould (Nosy Crow)

Captain Beastlie's Pirate Party

Written by Lucy Coats

Illustrated by Chris Mould

Published by Nosy Crow

"So why do you like pirate books so much Charlotte?"

"Because pirates can be naughty, and they can do ANYTHING!"

So there you have it folks, there is the key reason why pirate books are so hugely massively successful in the children's picture book sector. Pirates are the perfect subversive characters to base a story around. They're devil-may-care, they live an exciting life, and children can vicariously enjoy their antics, imagining that perhaps one day they'll get to do all the things pirates do (we sincerely hope not, though I think Charlotte would be a pirate purely for the parrot and the treasure!)

So who is Captain Beastlie? Well he's the stinkiest, pongiest, most rotten pirate to ever set sail on the high seas. He's not particularly mean (though he can be a bit surly at times) - but with just a few days left till his birthday, Captain Beastlie is - as we'd politely point out - getting "a bit on the nose".

His doting crew are awesome. As Captain Beastlie counts down the days until his birthday and his party, his crew surreptitiously scurry around preparing for the big event. They keep their ship spotless, polished and washed - which is no mean feat when your captain is such a stinkpot!

We absolutely loved the pay-off in this story, which adults may see coming a mile off, but children will love (possibly a bit too much, I'm trying not to spoil the story for you but Charlotte innocently inquired whether she could mimic Captain Beastlie's behaviour - not just his pirate antics, to be answered with a very firm "not on your nellie, little lady!"

I've already said this on Twitter but I'll say it again here. Lucy Coats and Chris Mould are a match made in booky heaven. It's a fun (and in places laugh-out-loud) story, and it's fantastic to finally see Chris's perfect pirate artwork in the book after reading and seeing brief snatches of it on the awesome Book Sniffer blog, and on Twitter. Worth noting that Chris captures the essence of all things we love about pirate characters without resorting to tired old cliches either (no eyepatches or wooden legs on The Cap'n, just a beard more awesome than Phillip Ardagh's! Hooray!)

As is now the standard for Nosy Crow's print books, you have the option to hear an audio version of the story using the handy QR code in the front of the book (this is such a genius move and I'm still quietly surprised it hasn't caught on with other publishers).

We've already mentioned that the pirate theme shows no signs of bottoming out in 2014 (which is great news for us, we can't resist a barnacle-encrusted booty-obsessed cove or two), and here's an early candidate for piratey book of the year. Don't miss it!

Charlotte's best bit: We won't spoil the way the story ends, but Charlotte LOVED the idea (and it's not going to happen no matter how many times you ask, little miss!)

Daddy's Favourite bit: Funny, beautifully written, wonderful illustrations, a shoe-in for 'pirate book of the year' and it's only January!

(Kindly sent to us for review by Nosy Crow)

1 comment:

Lucy Coats said...

Wow! Thank you SO much. 'A beard more awesome than Philip Ardagh's' is the highest praise Captain Beastlie could ever get. I'm totally thrilled and so glad you and Charlotte enjoyed my luvverly, grubbly pirate. :-) Lucy x