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The Pirates Next Door
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The first swashbuckling adventure of the Jolley-Rogers in Dull-on-Sea

About the Author

Jonny Duddle (Author, Illustrator) Jonny Duddle overheard the story of his first book The Pirate Cruncher while sailing on a square-rigger. Since then he has written even stranger tales including The Pirates of Scurvy Sands, The Pirates Next Door, Gigantosaurus and The King of Space. The Pirates Next Door won the Waterstones Prize in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Roald Dahl Funny Prize. Now in danger of becoming a landlubber, Jonny lives in Wales with his wife, Jane, and their daughters, Daisy and Rosie.

Reviews

PreS-Gr 2-Life for Matilda in the town of Dull-on-Sea is, well, dull. Just when she is wishing that things were less boring, a family of pirates moves in next door. There is a boy her age, Jim, and their completely unconventional lifestyle lifts the ennui from the gloomy town. But one young girl's thrill is the rest of the neighborhood's nightmare, as rumors and the community's aesthetic demise lead to a full-on campaign to ship the Jolley-Rogers back where they came from. Tilda and Jim do not seem concerned by the disapproval of others; he accepts it as a matter of course (Dull-on-Sea is merely a pit stop for his family as they repair their ship, parked next to the house) and Tilda is a stouthearted advocate for pirates. Yet this lighthearted story belies a wretched truth-that grown-ups are judgmental, though they can be easily swayed when they find buried treasure in their backyards. Fans of pirates won't really care about the mixed message; they will be having too much fun listening to the rhyming text and looking at the details in the caricatured pictures. Pirate paraphernalia abounds, and there is even a hint that the complaints manager at Town Hall is a pirate himself, unbeknownst to the locals. The layout, combining spreads and cartoon blocking, keeps the story moving and reinforces the idea of different voices gossiping about the town's eccentric new residents. A jolly good tale for one-on-one sharing.-Kara Schaff Dean, Walpole Public Library, MA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Captain Duddle is the undisputed king of pirate picture books and the Jolley Rogers are unleashing merry mayhem on the poor, unsuspecting residents of sleepy seaside town Dull-on-Sea. With belly laughs throughout and lots of funny details to spot on each page, it's an absolute tricorn (that's a pirate hat, don't you know?) triumph. Look out for their wooden-legged dog and COMING SOON Jolley Rogers fiction for younger readers. -- WRD * WRD Books *
The Pirates Next Door tells the tale of Matilda, a little girl who lives in a gloomy seaside town, Dull-on-Sea. One day, new neighbours move in next door - a family of pirates, taking a break from the seas to fix their ship. Matilda thinks it's fantastic to have such exciting neighbours, especially a young lad her age, Jim, who's dressed in a pirate bandanna and an eye-patch. However, her mum, dad and the other neighbours are not so impressed with these new residents, The Jolley-Rogers, and tell her they'd rather she was friends with "normal girls and boys". The other residents accuse the pirates of terrorising the neighbourhood, being dirty and having lice, and their ship being full of rats. However, Matilda still insists on sitting next to Jonny at school as she thinks he's "cool". He tells her the pirates are used to this kind of reaction whenever they come to land - and when they finally depart, the neighbours discover just how wrong they were about the pirates after all. That might make the book sound a bit worthy. And while it does have a message about tolerance and prejudice, it's subtly hidden in an adventurous tale, written in wonderful rhyming verse and accompanied by vividly detailed and engaging illustrations. It's a lot longer than other picture books, so age-wise I'd say it would appeal to children of three and above, with a reading age from 6 or 7. I asked Little Miss E, age 5, and Little Man O, 3.5, what they thought of the book and while it was the humour and the pictures that really impressed them, they quickly understood the message about not judging people and always being kind. This is a fun and adventurous book with wonderfully-detailed illustrations and fast-paced, descriptive verse that you will be happy to read time and again. We highly recommend it. * Cardiff Mummy *

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