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Monday, 6 January 2014

Book Review: Martha's Chickens and the Pirates

I had the pleasure of reading a delightful book called Martha's Chickens and the Pirates, written by Phyl Campbell. Although it is a story for small children, I couldn't help but smile when I read it. The author knows how to attract a young audience, and it shows in the writing of this book.

This story is about a widow named Martha, who sells her farm and buys a boat to sail around for awhile. She takes along her cows, pigs and chickens. The animals love Martha and are concerned about her, as well as their future. There is no food on board to eat and everyone is hungry.

The brave chickens decide to go foraging for food, and find themselves on a pirate ship. They snatch sausages and wormy hamburgers, and return to their boat, happy that Martha won't starve. The hungry pirates are not pleased when they discover that their food is gone, and set a trap for the pilfering chickens. The cows and pigs try to rescue the chickens, and fight the pirates in order to do so. What happens next is an unexpected twist to the story, as Martha offers a solution that the pirates find hard to refuse, while ensuring the safety of her animals.

Phyl Campbell's humour and talents as a writer shines throughout the book. The pirates are entertaining characters with their amusing dialogue. They are definitely not the smartest pirates around. This author was also able to make the animals come to life with likable personalities.

The book cover and illustrations are very nicely sketched and colourful, matching the story content. Martha's Chickens and the Pirates is a book I willingly recommend, knowing children will enjoy the little adventure it holds, as well as learning a valuable moral it contains.