Readplus review - 16th March 2020
A Perfect Little Monster by Penny Morrison. Illus. by Simon Howe.
Scholastic, 2020. ISBN: 9781742999944.
(Age: 3+) Recommended.
When Iris and her twin brother Fang go to school, mad things may happen. The children are monsters. Mum has to cover Iris' third eye and tuck in Fang's tail to make them look more like the other children, but Iris knows that her brother's behaviour will be embarrassing, because when he arrives he makes eye contact with the children, smiling and saying hello as they walk through the gate. During story time Iris rips into the books while the teacher reads a story, but he says thank you when handed an instrument during the music lesson, shares his toys with the others, plays on the playground equipment without damaging it, and doing craft leaving the pencils and paints as he found them. Iris is aghast, this is not what a monster should do, and readers will laugh out loud at the mayhem she causes as the story progresses, the hilarious illustrations showing the world of difference between good and bad behaviour, showing Iris and Fang to be complete opposites. Iris is a whirlwind of bad behaviour, reflecting some of the behaviour children will be exposed to when they reach school, but also showing children that this behaviour while totally unacceptable, will leave the person without friends.
A very funny look at expectations when children arrive at school, the story also quietly exposes new arrivals to the range of lessons and play they will have. Through Iris' bad behaviour, they will learn the sort of behaviour that is acceptable, not only to the teacher, but also their peers.
I love Mum's appearance almost out of sight, and the looks on the other students' faces are worth watching out for. This is a wonderful read aloud, encouraging children to join in as it is read, miming Iris' bad behaviour, realising that Fang is the better student.
Themes: Monsters, Behaviour, School, First day at school, Twins.
goodreads review - 5th Oct 2016
Captain Sneer The Buccaneer
by Penny Morrison (Goodreads Author), Gabriel Evans (Goodreads Author)(Illustrator)
Debra Tidball's review
Oct 05, 2016
I love this book! The text has a rollicking rhythm and rhyme that hilariously subverts reader expectations until the very end. There are surprises to be had at the turn of every page.
The illustrations are absolutely perfect for the swashbuckling tale - wonderfully earthy full paged pictures (think 'Pirates of the Caribbean' rather than Disney's 'Hook') yet with a luminescence that glitters like the elusive gold. Evans has used pencil, watercolour and gouache to create this effect. With the Captain himself, Evans has mastered a look of a vulnerable villain - to the point of being almost cuddly.
Like all great picture books, the story is to be found in the combination of words and pictures, not either in isolation, and it rewards the reader on re-readings as there is always something more to discover.
I was fortunate enough to attend the book launch, and to see it performed in front of a group of kids was magic. Perfect for reading to a group of kids in a class or more intimately snuggled up with a child on your lap - either way it's great fun. This one will be asked for again and again, and parents will be happy to oblige. Highly Recommended.
Kids' Book Review - 19th Sept 2016
I’m Captain Sneer, the buccaneer.
My crew salutes when I pass near.
I’m rough and tough.
I’m brave and bold.
I sail the seas for gold, Gold, GOLD.
Meet Captain Sneer, the boastful buccaneer. He’s tough and mean, fearsome and daring. Or is he? As he faces challenges, we get hints that perhaps he isn’t quite as brave as he wants people to believe.
In this high-seas adventure, author Penny Morrison introduces readers to the boastful, blustering pirate. The crew, and readers, can see that Captain Sneer isn’t anywhere near as brave and adventurous as he thinks he is, creating a humorous pantomime-like tone to the story.
The rhyming text is fun and has a pleasing rhythm that makes it perfect to read aloud, and the twist at the end will have young readers giggling. The illustrations by West Australian illustrator Gabriel Evans complement the text perfectly.
Captain Sneer the Buccaneer is the perfect book to enjoy on Talk Like a Pirate Day, (today!) or anytime you’re ready for a rollicking pirate adventure.
Title: Captain Sneer the Buccaneer
Author: Penny Morrison
Illustrator: Gabriel Evans
Publisher: Walker Books, $24.99
Publication Date: 1 September 2016
Format: Hard Cover
For ages: 4 - 7
Type: Picture Book
Reviewed by Susan Whelan
Plus: 12 Curly Questions
Manly Daily 9th Sept 2016
SWASHBUCKLING adventure awaits in this marvellous picture book. Captain Sneer is the boldest and bravest pirate of them all … most of the time. His crew are headed for treasure and glory, with a surprise or two along the way.
Rollicking rhymes make this a joy to read aloud, and Evans’ illustrations are evocative and incredibly rich with detail. This is a funny tale to be enjoyed over and over by fans of all things piratey.
Great for ages 3+.
Title: Captain Sneer The Buchaneer
Author: Penny Morrison & Gabriel Evans
Reviewer: Breanna O’Brien
Buzzwords Books 2nd Sept 2016
Reviewed by Ashling Kwok
Get ready for a rollicking good time with this fun, rhyming story about a boastful pirate. Captain Sneer thinks he is rough and tough and bold and brave, but readers soon find out things are not what they seem. Join Captain Sneer and his merry men as they go on an adventure sailing the seas in search of treasure.
This comical tale by Penny Morrison is packed with action which will delight young readers and leave them wanting more. The illustrations by Gabriel Evans are fantastic and the exquisite colour palette brings the images to life.
Readers will delight in the energetic, rhythmical nature of the text, which will encourage children to read along and become involved in the story.
Imagine how much fun children will have reading these words aloud:
“I’m Captain Sneer, the buccaneer. My crew salute when I pass near.
I’m rough and tough, I’m brave and bold. I sail the seas for gold, gold, GOLD!”
Captain Sneer the Buccaneer is a creative, humorous, and entertaining tale that children and adults will enjoy. It will appeal to both boys and girls and will soon become a family favourite.