Shiver Me Timbers by Oakley Graham
Published by Big Sky Publishing
O what fun my kids and I have had reading this book! ‘Shiver Me Timbers’ became my (almost) four-year old’s favourite, literally overnight, and is now a nightly request for story time before bed.
In this tale we meet Captain Black, a character very similar to Captain Hook in featured limb losses. Black goes one further into the classic pirate stereotype by sporting a peg leg, which was taken by a tiger shark whilst he dangled his leg off the edge of a floaty and sipped an exotic drink out of a coconut.
‘Shiver Me Timbers’ is a veritable treasure trove of great pirate clichés, stereotypes and swashbuckling idioms: buccaneers, marooning sailors, gold doubloons, treasure maps, Yo Ho Ho, walking the plank, navigating by the stars, mermaids, hoisting rigging, and a monstrous octopus that carries the ship down to Davy Jones’ Locker!
Every page is funny and fun – even more so if you can read it with a piRRRRRate-y accent – with great rhymes and a recurring refrain that any little one can chime in with during the read.
A great bonus to this book is the pages of fascinating Pirate Facts at the back, which debunk a lot of myths and stereotypes and give greater insight into the life of a real pirate. I didn’t know that some of the fiercest famous pirates were actually women (which is a great fact for any girls who may be hesitant to read this book). However, the ‘Poop Deck’ humour may appeal more to boys as the pirates park their backsides over the edge of the upper deck to go to the loo.
There are some mild themes to be aware of in this story. The picture of a skeletal Captain Black – after he goes down with his ship to Davy Jones’ Locker – may place the appropriate reading age for this book at 6 years+, but this will depend on individual children (like my almost four-year old, who loves this story).
It’s a life at sea for me..and my boy! Yo ho ho!
CKT Book Reviewer
Author: Oakley Graham
Illustrator: Nina Caniac
Title: Shiver Me Timbers
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
Published: July 2016