Book Review: How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long

Title: How I Became a Pirate
Author: Melinda Long
Illustrator: David Shannon
Ages: 3 to 7

Cover of the book How I Became a Pirate. A boy is depicted sitting atop the shoulders of a pirate on a pirate shipPlot: A pirate ship comes ashore and a young boy leaves his inattentive parents to go on an adventure. The gang eventually returns to bury treasure in the boy’s backyard. In the middle of the story the boy tries teaching the pirates to play soccer, until a shark eats the ball. At the end of the story the boy’s soccer uniform reveals his team name, "Pirates."

Reaction: David Shannon is my new favorite illustrator. His acrylic paintings are fantastic and I would love to see quite a few of them framed on my wall. They are fun, imaginative and capture the spirit of childhood.

Author Melinda Long has pulled together a decent story line with an added device for the storyteller. Every few pages a phrase is printed extra large, making it more visible in a group setting. These phrases are shouted by a group of roudy pirates in the story, and you can encourage your child or children to shout along too.



3 Responses to “Book Review: How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long”

  1. Carol says:

    Ohhh, we love David Shannon here too! Er, well maybe I should say that we love the DAVID! books. My kids love them. I’ll have to check this book out.

    Do you have The Napping House? Not by David Shannon but *really* good.

    April 26th, 2006 at 5:43 pm

  2. Jennifer Krauza says:

    I am looking for the activity guide for How I Became a Pirate. The link seems to be out of date; can anyone help?

    May 2nd, 2008 at 8:36 am

  3. AJ says:

    Jennifer, all of the links work for me at this time, except for two located at

    When I visited its front page I saw this message: “We are performing routine server maintenance. During this time, the site may be temporarily unavailable. We are sorry for any inconvenience.”

    May 2nd, 2008 at 9:17 am

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