Avast, me hearties! This photo below was sent to me in anticipation of a school visit. These rascals must have been inspired by A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade and/or the sequel, A Pirate’s Guide to Recess.
The image below is by illustrator Greg Ruth, who is amazing, from A Pirate’s Guide to Recess.
Put ’em together: “Sink me! I’ve been hornswaggled by scallywags!”
Below you’ll find various images from two books that I cooked up with the brilliant artist (and occasional “bilge rat”) Greg Ruth — A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade and A Pirate’s Guide to Recess. Now double quick, set your goggles here for some review snippets about the First Grade title . . . plus Greg’s great work.
“Told entirely in pirate lingo, this story follows a boy and his entourage of ethereal salty dogs through the first day of school. ‘Me great scurvy dog slurped me kisser when I was tryin’ t’ get me winks!’ The protagonist’s fruitful imagination turns ordinary routine into a high-seas adventure complete with a small, skirted buccaneer walking the plank during recess. In the end, where does X mark the spot? Treasure abounds in the library, with the chance to experience the adventure of the written word. The illustrations have a vintage feel, complete with boisterous grog-drinking, scabbard-waving, and bubble-pipe-smoking pirates. The combination of the muted tones of the pirates with the bold colors of the real world adds to the visual appeal . . . it can serve as a tremendous read-aloud, especially on Talk Like a Pirate Day.”—School Library Journal, Starred Review.
“Preller’s buoyant pirate-inflected storytelling and Ruth’s illustrations, which have a decidedly vintage flair, form an exuberant tribute to imagination and a spirit of adventure.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred Review.
“Pirate-addled readers will dance a jig; press-ganged kids will be happy for the glossary. Good fun, me hearties.” — Kirkus Reviews.
“Young would-be buccaneers facing their own first-day jitters will enjoy this droll title, which ends with a cheer for libraries. A great choice for sharing on September 19, International Talk Like a Pirate Day.” – Booklist.
I arrived home last night after a brief trip to New York State’s magnificient North Country — Chaumont and Clayton specifically — where I enjoyed visits to two wonderful schools.
I’m on deadline, late with a manuscript, so don’t have much time to dilly-dally today. Or not as much as usual. However, I am free to dither. Mostly I want to share some student artwork with you.
I have no idea what might have inspired students to create their own zombie art.
The art comes from the Lyme Central School in Chaumont, one of those cozy K-12 schools you sometimes see in less populated areas. My visit was organized by the incredible Linda Lepper, who assured me that this was not her first rodeo. In fact, I was the 28th author that Linda had invited to visit the school. Or maybe I was the 27th, not sure.
In any event, Linda finally worked her way down, down, down the list and got to me.
This is a school where they really embrace an author visit. There are activities all week, posters, art, themes, games, quizzes, and on and on. By the time I arrived, the students were prepared and enthusiastic. For my part, I spoke to four distinct groups: Grades 1-2, Grades 6-8, PreK-K (mini version), and Grades 3-5. Quite a range, which helped keep things fresh and fun for me. It’s a different show every time, folks.
To prepare for my visit, many students created artwork, which was displayed throughout the school. A lot of them focused on zombies:
And from the younger grades, a brilliant spin on my “Pirate’s Guide” series. In this case, those rapscallions are concerned with water safety.
Caption reads: Never dive in shallow water.
Thank you, students at Lyme Central. I’m sorry I couldn’t share all your work, but there’s only so much space available on the internet. And thank you most of all, Linda Lepper and all the teachers and staff at your warm, clean, well-lighted school.
I really enjoy your book. I am a student in edm 310 at the Univerity of South Alabama. My assignment this week was to make a book trailer. I chose your book because my kids enjoy it so much. I wanted to share the trailer with you.
Thanks for sending along that link. I love the trailer. Love the focus on the boy’s journey, well-edited, and the music was especially invigorating. It got me standing up, marching around the room, punching myself in the chest. (Which hurt a little bit, btw.) I was, I should say, fully prepped for a reading adventure!
I love Greg Ruth’s artwork in that book. He’s pretty spectacular and has a new graphic novel out, The Lost Boy. A staggering talent and a nice guy, too.
There is also a sequel out, A Pirate’s Guide to Recess. It expands on the boy — Greg and I call him “Red” — and his imaginary world, as it collides with another first-grader, Molly, and her swashbuckling crew of seafaring scallywags.
Good luck in your teaching career. We need good, young, committed teachers, now more than ever. Thank you for choosing that honorable path.