Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pirate Nap (by Danna Smith)



Summary of Pirate Nap: A Book of Colors (by Danna Smith):
Two energetic and mischievous preschoolers attempt to avoid naptime.  Together, they experience a pirate adventure by imaginatively turning household objects into colorful pirate treasures and objects.  Eventually, their mother successfully corrals them into bed for a nap, but not before they “stash their treasures” and “stow their swords.”   The snappy rhyming text is sure to draw young readers. 

Another clue.  Blow me down!
A treasure chest!  Wooden. BROWN.
Pirate’s luck.  The treasure’s big.
Yo ho ho!  The pirates dig. 

Evaluation:
Author Danna Smith has created a fun rhyming adventure that effectively teaches the early learning concept of color identification while celebrating imaginative play.  The colors words are a natural part of the text.  The object in question is the focal point through brighter colors that contrast with more muted tones, position on the page, and/or the action of the story.  The color name is always bold and in the color in question, ideal for teaching youngsters visual recognition and allowing them to “read” along.   While color identification is taught, it is down in a more subtle way than most concept books.  The focus of the text and illustrations is on childhood play and nap time.

Artist Valeria Petrone does a wonderful job with the accompanying illustrations.  Her animated pictures add to the text rather than just mimic it.  For instance, the text states:  “Hear a scream.  What could it be?  A purple monster from the sea!”  The illustrations show a younger sister (dressed in purple) who has taken the necklace from her siblings and run off. 

Pirate Nap will quickly become a pre-naptime favorite.  I recommend the book for ages 3 months to 4 years old.

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