Review Blog

Aug 15 2017

Rockabye Pirate by Timothy Knapman

cover image

Ill. by Ada Grey. Bloomsbury, 2017. ISBN 9781408849392
Rock-a-bye pirate, in the crow's nest
Mummy says bedtime, and Mummy knows best.
You've had your adventures, you've sailed the high seas,
So under the covers and go to sleep, please.

During the day, this little pirate has all sorts of pirate adventures doing all the things pirates do. But the life of a pirate isn't all swashbuckling, treasure-seeking and making enemies walk the plank - come nighttime they have to have their dinner, have a bath, wash their hair, get in the PJs and snuggle into bed to listen to a bedtime story. And this smart mummy knows this, turning her boy's bedtime routine into a pirate-centred lullaby to settle him down and lull him to sleep.
Author of other preschool-friendly stories such as All Aboard the Dinosaur Express, Knapman describes himself as a children's writer, lyricist and playwright and his way with words, their rhyme and rhythm certainly shines through in this latest offering. Sublimely illustrated so that even the wickedest pirates who ever set sail - Black-Bearded Brewster, Sea Dog McPhail, Cross-Eyed Delaney and Freddy the Fright - become just regular people who go home to their magnificent purpled-hair mum, there is everything that is familiar about pirates in this book as well as things that are not so it is scaled back to become a gentle bedtime story for even the toughest, most adventurous daytime seafarer.
Barbara Braxton

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