Review Detail

Kids Fiction 183
charming high-seas adventure about a love for reading
Overall rating 
 
4.5
Plot/Characters/Writing Style 
 
4.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable) 
 
5.0
PIRATE NELL'S TALE TO TELL is a charming picture book about Nell, who has always dreamed of being a pirate. She is finally given the chance on Captain Gnash's ship, but it is not exactly what she expected, when her tasks are to clean pots, pans, and the ship. Her handy Pirate's Almanac is along for the ride, but Captain Gnash is anti-reading. Then, Nell finds a treasure map, and uses what she learned in her almanac to save the bullying Captain.

When they find the treasure- a bunch of books, Nell is able to explain to the crew what makes reading so great and teaches them to read themselves.

What I loved: This book is full of rhyming charm. I love the way the text rolled off the tongue so smoothly. It is fun both to read and to listen to. The overall plot is pretty cute, with being a pirate not all the adventures it seemed, and Nell stands strong against a bully (Captain Gnash) and even saves him when he goes overboard in a storm. The message about the power of reading and books is a fun one that will appeal to young readers.

The illustrations are absolutely fantastic with lots of lovely details and many colors that will appeal to a wide range of readers. There are a relatively high number of pictures to words, which can make the pages turn quickly, but each illustration is so fantastic that children will want to look at them for longer.

What left me wanting more: There is bullying from the Captain who says some not-nice things to Nell. It's relatively minor, and he does come around, but might be tough for sensitive children. As another small thing, he also tells her to clean up the bird poop, which will make children giggle, but be prepared for repetition.

Final verdict: Overall, a charming high-seas adventure that ties in reading and the power of following your dreams, PIRATE NELL'S TALE TO TELL is sure to delight young readers.
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