Teatime for Pirates! by Richard Dungworth Review

A Skullabones Island Picture Book


Reviewed by Lisa Hyatt

Captain Cutlass also moonlights as the ship’s chef in this wonderfully illustrated rhyming tale. The only problem is that his crew seem a bit sceptical about the teatime menu the Captain has prepared. Apparently, sausage, mash, peas and carrots are not what you eat at sea. Captain Cutlass tries to convince them that in order to be rough, tough, noisy pirates they need to eat their tea! He soon spots there is one important ingredient that is missing, and after adding this ingredient there are clean plates all round.

This latest title in the Skullabones Island series, written by Richard Dungworth and Sharon Harmer, was a perfect bedtime read for my three year old, who is currently going through the obligatory fussy mealtimes phase. The story is told in fun, catchy rhyme and is brought to life with bold, bright humorous illustrations. The recommended age range for the book is 3-6 and I think that it’s aimed perfectly at this group. I was also pleased to see that the book has avoided gender stereotypes and has male and female crew members around the ship’s table. The only negative we found with this tale is that the important ingredient Captain Cutlass adds to the meal is “Pirate Sauce”, which looks incredibly similar to tomato ketchup, and it is implied that Pirate Sauce makes everything taste great. This has unfortunately reinforced to our three year old that he is indeed right and Pirate Sauce is absolutely necessary at all mealtimes, though we have now won the breakfast cereal battle

Nonetheless this book is our current bedtime favourite and it hasn’t yet made it back to the bookshelf.


Rating: 4/5

RRP: £6.99 (paperback)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

4 Star

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