Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Arrr, Mustache Baby!, written by Bridget Heos, reviewed by Klaudia Janek

Student Reviewer: Adrian V.
Summary: The book is about the adventures Baby Billy and Baby Javier, two babies born with a mustache and a beard, respectively. “Baby Billy was born with a mustache. Baby Javier was born with a beard. Usually, they were fine young gentlemen.” Most of the story is set at a pool, or the “seven seas” as seen through the eyes of our protagonists. Our protagonists are do-gooders, and act as the heroes of the seas doing good deeds such as fighting sea monsters. They served many roles, such as fishermen, navy sailors, and submarine scientists. Eventually, they find out pirates have stolen and hidden treasure, and our heroes set to find it. They find the treasure and give it back to the citizens. However, the pirates find them and start attacking Billy and Javier. In their moment of weakness, they become bad guys! They pillage the loot back from the pirates, but now they want more. They start raiding the people they once saved. They get caught by their parents, and are put in cells (aka playpens). They start regretting their actions and remember when they helped the people. Once they realized what they did wrong, they leave jail. They swabbed the decks and make peace with the other pirates, Captain Kid and Short John Silver. They became good friends, however it is revealed that they occasionally engage in pirate behavior.

Straight Talk for Librarians: This book is really good for both emerging readers and their parents. Adults might have to explain quotes like, “Make that a dual duel! En garde!” The book cover is really appealing to young readers as it shows Billy as a pirate in a confident pose. Readers will really be able to relate to this story. Sometimes, they don’t want to act good. Especially when the circumstances come to it, they will act bad. However, the book teaches them that this is not good, and they learn to feel empathy for others and feel guilt for their actions. There’s also a lesson for parents at the end, with the reveal that sometimes they indulge in “pirate-like” activities. This teaches them that when kids act good most of the time, sometimes it’s okay for them to act out. The illustrations are very bright and vibrant, and gives a playful tone to most of the book, other than the parts where they are in jail, the colors are dulled down. The book is a fun, lighthearted pirate adventure that has a lesson for both emerging readers, and parents. It’s a great book for a pirate display. Perfect for “Talk Like a Pirate Day” and adventure stories. There is humor on every page, especially if you consider the idea of facial hair on babies.

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