The pirate tree

by | Oct 6, 2019 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Book Details

The pirate tree
Brigita Orel, Illus. Jennie Poh. London: Lantana Publishing, hb. 978 1 9113 7387 2, 2019, £8.70, 32pp.
Picture book, 5-8 years

When two lonely children meet up The Pirate Tree becomes a metaphor for a ship and friendship. It doesn’t go unnoticed here that the word ship is part of the word friendship of which the tree is the catalyst.

Two children (Sam and Agu) who are strangers to each other and where Agu is ‘not from my street’, begin to learn that although they have their differences, these soon become a celebration of their own childhood experiences, which through their adventure aboard the Pirate Tree ‘Ship’, in fact emphasise all they have in common. The element of play, through their imagination, brings the shipmates closer and closer together, until on the final page we hear them arranging their next pirate play date, whilst the tree waits enthusiastically awaiting its new friends, its pirates, once again.

This is a sweet and tender look at friendship. The reader begins to understand why Agu knows so much about ships, (a real journey across the sea on a boat from Nigeria) and as Sam befriends him relates to their growing friendship.

The mixed media illustrations complement the text. It might be said that there is a naivety to this narrative but it is in its simplicity and acceptance that it really works.

Review by Dr. Karenanne Knight