The word pirates

Susan Cooper, 1935-

Book - 2019

When word-eating Captain Rottingbones and his crew steal from the Word Wizard while she is telling a story, her pen proves mightier than the pirates' swords.

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Location Call Number   Status
Children's Room jE/Cooper Checked In
Children's Room jE/Cooper Due Jul 11, 2022
Picture books
New York : Holiday House [2019]
First edition
Item Description
"Neal Porter Books."
Physical Description
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Main Author
Susan Cooper, 1935- (author)
Other Authors
Steven Kellogg (illustrator)
Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Captain Rottingbones and his fellow swashbucklers don't go after the usual kinds of plunder: with the help of feathered henchman called Bumblebirds, they steal words from unsuspecting storytellers around the world and gobble them up "for breakfast, lunch and dinner." But one storyteller, "a Word Wizard, a zany New Zealander," who wears a rainbow wig just like the late author Margaret Mahy (also the subject of the lovely dedication), fights back. She vanquishes the pirates ("A word-spinning pen is mightier than a pilfering pirate's sword!" Cooper writes), then graciously gives them a fresh start: in the final pages, they're eating vegetables and learning to use words rather than eat them. The story feels a touch prescriptive, a component that slows the pacing, but Kellogg's signature art overflows with the color, movement, and expression of a vintage carnival poster. Ages 4–8. (Sept.) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by School Library Journal Reviews

K-Gr 2—With a roar, Captain Rottingbones demands words! Pirates love eating words after all. So out go the Bumblebirds to retrieve the written delights of storytellers worldwide. To storytellers and story lovers though, this is an atrocious act. The Word Wizard and the children she was reading to give chase. Just as the ogre-like pirates begin to attack, a story stream sprouts from the author's absurdly large pen. Awed, the pirates have an epiphany. Cooper's words are deliciously funny, and have several important messages to share about the value of stories. Like the pirates, there are greedy people who wish to destroy them, though the children know them as the influential, magical things they are. Even the pirates turn over a new leaf once they realize this, learning to read and write in order to enjoy the benefits, too. Kellogg's comical style perfectly complement's Cooper's flair. With the storyteller tone, lush palette, and oddball characters, they have created a whimsical adventure where a Word Wizard, and the children, are the heroes. VERDICT Two prominent creators of children's literature have combined their powers to deliver a memorably funny tale about the value of stories. For its potential to create future readers, this book is invaluable.—Rachel Forbes, Oakville Public Library, Ont. Copyright 2019 School Library Journal.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When word-eating Captain Rottingbones and his crew steal from the Word Wizard while she is telling a story, her pen proves mightier than the pirates' swords.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When a ravenous band of word-eating pirates targets the super-delicious words in her extra-juicy stories, the irrepressible Word Wizard and the kids who love her stories save precious words by proving that the pen is mightier than the sword. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

A ravenous band of pirates who eat words for breakfast gobble up the world's greatest stories. But never fear--the Word Wizard and the children she reads to are on the case!Pirate Captain Rottingbones and his crew need breakfast. But these pirates can't have just any ordinary, they need nice, fresh WORDS. And where better to get them than stealing them straight off the pages of all kinds of books?But when Captain Rottingbones and his cronies go after the Word Wizard and her extra delicious words that they steal from her extra juicy stories, they've finally gone too far...because not only does the Word Wizard believe words are precious things that belong in stories, but she also has a weapon stronger than any sword--a mighty pen.Susan Cooper, author of the acclaimed Dark Is Rising fantasy series, teams up with renowned illustrator Steven Kellogg to create a swashbuckling adventure that celebrates the power of reading.A Bank Street Best Book of the Year