06 May 2009

Captain Crabclaw’s Crew

by Frances Watts. Illustrated by David Legge

ABC Books. Australian, Junior. Hardback rrp $24.95

The first thing about Captain Crabclaw’s Crew that grabbed my attention was the front cover’s illustration of a rotund captain and his menagerie of animal pirates. My young son was most impressed and it didn’t take us long to open the book and read the pages.

Captain Crabclaw advertises for a pirate crew for his new ship, the Speedy Squid, to search for treasure. His sign says that they “Must be fearsome!”. But what Captain Crabclaw gets is a duck, an elephant, a giraffe and a cow. These don’t seem fearsome but when the duck honks and snaps, the elephant trumpets loudly, the giraffe sticks out his tongue and the cow bellows, Captain Crabclaw feels he has the most fearsome pirate crew ever.

When they go in search of treasure they are laughed at by another boat and Captain Crabclaw finds that he cannot get out of bed anymore. Until he hears the sound of gold. What have his pirate crew done to help the Captain?

This is a wonderful story with funny and colourful illustrations. Watts and Legge were winners of Children’s Choice awards and the 2008 CBCA Award for Best Information Book for Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books. I think they have hit on another winner here.

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