Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Captain No Beard Series by Carole P Roman  are vibrantly illustrated children's books based on the popular pirate theme.  Stuck In the Doldrums is an inviting new book in the series.  The word "Doldrums" has two commonly accepted meanings as it can refer to a physical location- an unspecified place in the middle of the ocean with squalls and winds. The doldrums can also refer to a state or period of inactivity and stagnation.  Roman cleverly integrates both meanings and weaves them into a lesson about sharing that all children will enjoy.  I can imagine this will allow a lively after story discussion between children and parents  about the ethics of sharing as well as a  science and geography lesson about the vastness of the ocean.  Two popular topics are incorporated into a story about an ethical theme of sharing. 
The first book in the series ended with a surprise twist in which the "pirates" and their pirate adventure was actually the imaginary game of a few imaginative children at play. This new edition does not hint at the surprise ending on its cover, allowing the readers more of a surprise at the end.  Only with the last scene, on the last page features the children in pirate costumes playing in a messy bed with their stuffed toys.  I feel this will encourage  children to role play and use their imaginations which is very important especially in this modern day where so many kids spend endless hours passively watching TV or playing video games.  This book will show that all it takes is an imagination and maybe a few stuffed toys to enter into an entirely new world.

Roman's new series introduces children to the friendly pirate named Captain No Beard, and his frigate as well as the host of friendly talking animals.   Basically these books are the perfect introduction to children's pirate literature - like pirate literature 101 complete with the typical pirate talk and pirate cliches with explanations as well.    Each story can be enjoyed independently as well.  The richly colored artwork is inviting for parents to read as well as children.  The talent of the artist is well reflected in contrast to simple cartoonish drawing that you see in so many kids' books these days.  As a blogger I received this book from the author for the purpose of writing this review.