January 15, 2007

The siren call of pirates

Bruce at wordswimmer, one of my fellow Cybils panelists, has a terrific review of the terrific poetry book, Blackbeard, The Pirate King by J. Patrick Lewis, published in 2006 by National Geographic.

As Bruce writes,
"Even if you already know the story of Blackbeard, who returns to life in all his trembling and fearsome glory in Blackbeard The Pirate King, J. Patrick Lewis' remarkable account of his life, you'll relish the chance to sail with Lewis as he captains this sturdy ship of verse through the stormy seas of Blackbeard's many voyages."
How could you possibly resist such an invitation? Blackbeard is one of my kids' favorites poetry books -- I'm fairly certain it's Daniel's absolute favorite, since he's been known to sleep with the book, which rarely makes it back to the shelf -- and one of the titles they expressly asked to keep at home on our own shelves. It was one of the best collections of original children's poetry of 2006 and deserves a wide readership, whether one's interest is pirates or poetry.

Homeschoolers in particular will marvel at the talent and interests of J. Patrick Lewis, who has cleverly and memorably versified everything from extinct animals to castles to world travels. Not to be missed is his pop-up poetry biography of Galileo. I'm looking forward to his The Brothers' War: Civil War Voices in Verse, to be published in the fall by National Geographic, just in time for our continuing American history studies.

And Susan at Chicken Spaghetti reviewed Blackbeard last fall here.

(Painting, "The Duel on the Beach" by N.C. Wyeth, 1931, to illustrate the swashbuckling Rafael Sabatini story of the same name; this illustration and many others accompany the poems in Blackbeard.)

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