Review Blog

Apr 10 2013

Pirate Gold by Michael Salmon

cover image

Ford Street Publishing, 2013. pbk., 32pp., ISBN 9781921665691. RRP $A12.95
hbk., 32pp. ISBN 9781921665684. RRP. $A19.91.
The pirate ship Hogwash is home to the Piganeers, led by Captain Porker. After several successful raids on Spanish galleons, Captain Porker orders his crew to weigh anchor off a little tropical island, a regular stop on the voyage home because his treasure is buried there - but his treasure map is missing. How will he find his loot without it? Luckily for his crew, who were at risk of being turned into bacon burgers, he finds it ... but not where he usually hides it. Could someone have found it and worked out its secret? Midnight sees him setting out alone, rowing to the island, but after a night of digging, daylight dawns and his fears are confirmed. His treasure is not there. But who is responsible for stealing it? Younger children will enjoy joining Captain Porker on his hunt to find the culprits with its quirky twists and turns.
Pirates are a perennial favourite with young students and this rollicking adventure adds to the plethora of stories with this theme that have lasting appeal. Michael Salmon's style is eye-catching, engaging and easily recognisable as this is the latest in a long string of books and other child-centred ventures which began in 1967. His cartoon style with his bright colours captures the eye and the imagination, and this book, a re-release of one published in the USA in 1998, is sure to attract a new generation of fans.
My experience has been that whenever I lead young boys, particularly, to the Michael Salmon section, that they are hooked and the word spreads very quickly. Perfect for reading aloud or reading alone by those on the cusp of independence, and coupled with his interactive website Salmon has a formula that is a winner. So much so, that the ACT Government commissioned a statue of Alexander Bunyip (of The Bunyip that ate Canberra fame) to stand outside their new Gungahlin Library in 2011. This title deserves its place in your Salmon collection.
Barbara Braxton

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