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The Jolley-Rogers and the Ghostly Galleon (Jonny Duddle) Paperback – 1 Apr 2014
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Ahoy me hearties! Do you love a pirate story? Then this is a fabulous book for you! It is extremely well written (paperback 160 pages) and includes a wealth of impressive illustrations. Your kids will find this book entertaining, engaging and most amusing. There are some great characters in this story. Matilda is just adorable. Don't be surprised if your kids' are glued to this story - there is an element of "What happens next?" about every chapter. I would suggest that this book is perfect for early readers, of five years and over. However, I'm sure that younger children will be delighted to have this story read to them, with the help of the page by page illustrations. I can fully recommend this book. Lots of fun! -- Robin Rowles * Peep Behind Sofa * After pirates plunder treasures from the Dull-on-Sea museum, the town panics, and Matilda sends a note to her pirate friend, Jim Lad, asking for help. When Jim's Jolley-Rogers family arrives, Grandpa Rogers announces the ghosts of Captain Twirlybeard and his crew are likely to blame! Matilda joins the Jolley- Rogers aboard their ship as they seek the spectral scalawags and unlock a surprising secret. This early chapter book is full of intrigue, spookiness, and pirate tales that will capture the attention of emerging and struggling readers. Gray-scale illustrations show Duddle's attention to artistic detail, and his creative use of black backgrounds and white text whenever characters are plunged into darkness heightens the feel of danger and excitement. More adventures ahoy! Book two, The Jolley-Rogers and the Cave of Doom, publishes simultaneously. -- J. B. Petty * Booklist *
About the Author
Jonny Duddle is the author and illustrator of the hugely successful Templar picture books The Pirate Cruncher, The Pirates Next Door, and King of Space. Jonny has been a character designer for Aardman Animation's recent Oscar-nominated film The Pirates!.
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In a great creative stroke, Duddle has moved on to write and illustrate a series of graphic chapter books that follow upon the picture books and feature the same characters and settings. As a consequence a kid can start with the picture books. If he or she likes them then this chapter book and its sequels just naturally draw them along to the next reading level. So, this ends up as a series a little reader can grow with. What a nice plan.
And these are worth getting into. The story here is that ghost pirates are raiding pirate museums, gathering pirate treasure. They land at Dull-on-Sea and clean out the local Museum. Matilda sends a message in a bottle to Jim and his family, and they arrive to help stop the ghost pirates. SPOILER. It turns out that there is something important in Dull-on-Sea that could send the ghost pirates away for good and so the race is on between the ghosts and Matilda/Jim to see who can get the whatchamacallit first.
This book has great appeal. There are lots of funny bits, frantic action, clever wordplay, deadpan humor, and some sly bits for adults. Matilda and Jim are cheerful and resourceful can-do heroes. Added appeal arises from the nice match between the graphic aspect and the printed words. This is not a "comic" or a pure graphic novel, but more along the lines of a very heavily illustrated book. The drawings are black and white, but heavily detailed and exaggerated in an amusing fashion. They also clarify what's been written and so help a younger reader avoid confusion and follow the story, which can be a bit antic and breathless.
The upshot is that this book is entertaining, good-natured, funny and pretty exciting. While it stands alone just fine it's also a great extension of Duddle's pirate series for the picture book crowd, which just strikes me as a swell idea. A very nice and satisfying find.
Great book, great as a graduated step along from the last one, just be aware of what you're buying.
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Why on earth demean such a potentially 4-5 Star book.