The Poopdeck

The Talk Like A Pirate Day Newsletter
Published now and again
Ol' Chumbucket, ed.
ISSUE NO.92 , Dec. 8, 2010
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291 Days Until International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

In this holiday edition:

A Perfectly Piratey Stocking Stuffer

If ye're lookin' for that perfect $10 gift for stockin' stuffers or office parties, why not pick up a copy (or six) o' Cap'n Slappy's Parade o' Pirate Poetry? You'll laugh! You'll cry! You'll delight and amaze your friends!

Just visit out Web site at and click the link to our store on And while you're there, you can also peruse our other offerings – "A L'il Pirate's ABSeas" and the four (soon to be five) "Caper" books, which tell the adventures of the crew of the pirate ship The Festering Boil.

But you definitely don't want to miss Cap'n Slappy's volume of poetry. As we said, a great stocking stuffer, and a perfect addition for any bathroom bookshelf!

Speaking of Great Holiday Gifts

Don't miss the offerings on our Cafepress store, at

There's plenty of piratey T-shirts, coffee mugs and other goodies for the buccaneers on yer list, including the contest-winning designs of Nate, Greg and Mike.

And finally, if you're going to be shopping at Amazon, let us suggest you get there via our link at the bottom of It'll take you to a selection of fine pirate books and goods at the estimable online merchant, and allow us to pillage them fer commission a bit, as good pirates should.

Ol' Chumbucket's Book Club: "A Pirate's Guide to First Grade"

"A Pirate's Guide to First Grade," by James Preller, with (fantastic) illustrations by Greg Ruth, published by Macmillan. $16.99.

I am mad. Angry. Gnashing my teeth. At myself. Because this is a really good book and I'm mad that Cap'n Slappy and I didn't write it. Although if we had, it would probably be inappropriate for children so I don't know what the point would have been. But "A Pirate's Guide to First Grade" is a delightful book that kids will love. THAT'S the point.

"A Pirate's Guide to Kindergarten" tells the swashbuckling tale of a wee nipper off for his first day of school. The lad is obsessed with pirates (what proper youngster isn't?) and sees everything through that prism.

The boy tells his tale in pirate talk – "Down in the galley, I mashed me choppers on grub and drowned it with grog. Time to set sheets to the wind!" he says, instead of "I ate breakfast, then it was time to go."

On this voyage of discovery the youngster is excited to be at school, but it takes a very special teacher - er, captain - to know exactly how to reach the buccaneer besotted boyo.

The story is good, but it's the illustrations that make the book so special. Ruth renders the boy and his surroundings in bright colors, but the artist also surrounds the character with the sketched-in images of the pirate crew that accompanies him everywhere. It lends a fantasy element that elevates "A Pirate's Guide to the First Grade" beyond a mere storybook.

It also contain a glossary to all the pirate terms in the story. See? Slappy and I should have written this! But we didn't. James Preller did and he did a grand job. And don't think for a minute you want to see a book illustrated by Slappy and meself. No matter what I try to draw it comes out as a drunken rabbit. And I'm the GOOD artist of the two. No, Preller's words are well illustrated by Greg Ruth. A fine, fine job.

If' you're the parent of a sprog that's almost ready for school, you'll want this book on the shelf. You'll be pulling it down often to share the adventure with yer wee one, before sending him or her out for their own adventures at school.

I'm givin' "A Pirate's Guide to the First Grade" four big tankards of grog!

If You're Out There Reading This ...

Some publisher sent a novel out to this address last summer for a review. Sadly, they sent it by UPS, which is normally a good idea but here on the island, not reliable. They called to say they'd be stopping by, then I never heard back. I called a few weeks later, they couldn't find the book but thought they might have sent it back and they'd check and get right back to me. And of course they never did. And in the meantime, I lost the e-mail (talk about not reliable) so I don't remember the publisher, or the author or name of the book or anything. I think it might have been a historical romance.

If you are a publisher and sent me a book for review in late summer, don't think I hated it. I never got it. Send me an e-mail and we'll see if we can arrange things a wee bit better.

And by the way, if you're a publisher, I have a pair of pirate young adult novels for your consideration. What are ye waitin' for?


That'll be all fer now. Enjoy the holiday season, stuff stockings with Slappy's poetry, and ye'll be hearin' from me again really soon.

Ol' Chumbucket, ed.


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