Pirate stories, as well as movies, are tops on kid’s lists for adventure. But don’t miss the picture book, I Don’t Want to be a Pirate by Teresa Ives Lilly (Tate Publishing, 2010) with its colorful, fun-loving illustrations.

Toby discovers pirates coming ashore who want to hide their treasure on an island.  He says they are not on an island. They are dumbfounded. “What to do?” echoes from each pirate and ends with Pete the Parrot squawking, “Not an island?” Repetition and use of authentic-sounding pirate names, such as Davy Jones and Reckless Roger add to the book’s swash-buckling humor. Its pace is perfect for reading aloud.

When asked to join the pirates, Toby is uncomfortable with the dirty black pants, red shirt and eye patch they want him to wear. Cautiously he asks, “What do pirates do?” First, he learns they steal. Toby tells them that his mommy says it’s not nice to steal. Then comes a refreshing twist. Shame-faced, each pirate remembers his mother telling him the same thing. Toby continues to ask about what pirates do and consider whether he should join them. His responses prompt the pirates to do some considering as well. The book’s final twist which involves chocolate cake will tickle young readers.

This book is fun and fanciful and uses humor to warn kids to ask questions before they leap into uncertain situations. Who knows, maybe their reward will be chocolate cake or a squawking parrot. The book is suitable for four-year-olds and could be read independently by strong readers in the second grade.

The last page has download information to get a free audio version.

A print version of I Don’t Want to be a Pirate retails for $8.99. The author would like you to know you can purchase a copy signed by the author for $3.75 plus $1.75 for shipping (a total of $5.50) if you purchase the book at www.hshighlights.com under the section Pirate Book or at http://www.hshighlights.com/index.php?act=viewProd&productId=1055

Carol Green, a graduate of Northwestern, is married and the mother of three adult children. Her five grandchildren affectionately call her “Grams cracker.”

She is the published author of many poems for both adults and children; three coloring books: God Gave Me Five, ABC Fun Book, and Color God’s World Bright; and the picture book: My Mom Loves Me.