Not So Jolly
Posted June 10, 2009on:
Review: The Not-So-Jolly Roger
by Jon Scieszka
Illustrated by Lane Smith
Clearly Jon Scieszka “gets it” about boys and what they might like to read. He even hosts a site dedicated to encouraging boys to read. You can find it at www.guysread.com. So it will be no surprize that this book is a good guy’s read and yes, there are a bunch of bad guys in it.
Fred, Sam and Joe (uh, the good guys) get into a whopping lot of trouble when they use a magical book, to time travel back to the days of Black Beard the pirate, an exceptianally nasty character who is ready at any moment to dispatch the boys by way of the pistol or the plank. Oh, and for some unexplained reason his beard is on fire. Well, at least it is smoking! Maybe that’s why he is not-so-jolly. The boys come through a number of close calls before finding themselves digging their own graves. It’s anyone’s guess how they are going to get out of this scrape and get back home.
The second title of The Time Warp Trio series, this book is a quick and easy read, with clear and simple vocabulary and sentence structure. The illustrations are perfect for a boy book, dead guys have x-ed out eyes and cannon balls leave big holes in the bodies of unfortunate pirates. Reminds me of Spy vs Spy in the old Mad Magazine. My fave illo is on page 19, pistol packing Black Beard himself with arms crossed, braided hair flying and extra pistols falling out of his pant legs. Aaarg, matey.
Have you ever seen a painting by a mouse?
It could happen when my new series comes out. Stick around.