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Cover image for Edward and the pirates
Edward and the pirates
First edition.
Boston : Little, Brown and Company, [1997]
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
General Note:
Sequel to: Santa's book of names.
Once Edward has learned to read, books and his vivid imagination provide him with great adventures.
Reading Level:

550 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader 4.0.

Reading Counts! 4.8.

Accelerated Reader AR LG 4.0 0.5 25978.

Reading Counts RC K-2 4.8 2 Quiz: 03459 Guided reading level: M.
Added Corporate Author:


Call Number
Pirates McPhail

On Order



Reading everything he can after learning how to read, young Edward finds his imagination soaring and particularly enjoys adventure stories, and one day he wakes up to find himself surrounded by pirates.

Author Notes

David McPhail has been a passionate artist since the age of two. He studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and began illustrating books for children in 1972. Since then he has created dozens of beloved books, including the celebrated Mole Music , which was a New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of the Year, the bestselling If You Were My Bunny , Edward and the Pirates , Lost! and Drawing Lessons from a Bear . He lives in New Hampshire.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 3‘Edward is an endearing, studious-looking little boy who reads everything he can get his hands on‘"Cereal boxes at the breakfast table...seed catalogs that arrived on the coldest day of winter, the inscription on the monument in the town square, and books‘all kinds of books." Edward becomes so involved that whatever he reads seems to be real. One day at the local library he finds a volume entitled Lost Pirate Treasure and takes it home; that night pirates invade his bedroom, demanding that he hand over the book. In the ruckus that ensues, the child bravely refuses (it's checked out on HIS card, after all), but generously ends up reading it aloud to the pirates, who never learned how themselves. McPhail's tale colorfully shows the magical worlds a good book can create. The acrylic on canvas illustrations have a fantastical appearance, especially when Edward leaps into action with Admiral Peary, Robin Hood, and Joan of Arc. Edward and the Pirates will make a great read-aloud as it encourages children to read and discover the fun and adventure in books.‘Christina Linz, Macon Technical Institute Library, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Readers young and old will love the swashbuckling verve and intrepid adventure of this loving tribute to the power of books to fuel the imagination. A sequel to Santa's Book of Names, the book is filled with large, shadowy acrylics awash with heroic figures in poses reminiscent of N.C. Wyeth's grand illustrations. The story itself, however, begins on a domestic note, with a child's utter satisfaction in knowing how to read: "Once Edward learned to read, there was no stopping him. Cereal boxes at the breakfast table... seed catalogues... and books-all kinds of books." Sometimes, however, what Edward reads seems "to become real." One night he imagines himself at the helm of a pirate ship and suddenly finds his room filled with menacing pirates in search of his pirate book. Like a storybook hero himself, he bravely protects the coveted volume ("It's checked out on my library card-you'll have to wait till I return it"). Edward's rescue by his parents-dressed very much like Joan of Arc and Robin Hood, whose tales he has been reading-ends with owlish Edward taking pity on the pirates. The illustrations burst with drama: the pirates in full regalia loom over Edward in his bed; Edward's teddy bear mimes the boy's reactions, especially when they are told to walk the plank. McPhail maintains throughout a misty, twilight glow, creating a sort of subterranean mystery appropriate to events of the subconscious. Both spirited and merry, this cleverly plotted homage to the pure joy of reading will be proof of the dictum that one book opens another. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

When Edward, an avid reader with a vivid imagination, brings home a library book called 'Lost Pirate Treasure', a group of pirates seeking their lost riches visits him in the night. Although they beg and threaten, Edward refuses to hand over the book but offers to read it to them after learning that they don't know how. The acrylic art, rendered in a painterly style with a dark palette, and the easy text emphasize that reading is an adventure. From HORN BOOK 1997, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

Edward, who learned to read under emergency circumstances in Santa's Book of Names (1993), reads everything now: cereal boxes, mail-order catalogs, and every book he can get his hands on, especially adventure stories. An old book about undiscovered pirate treasure that he finds in a dusty recess of his public library attracts a band of shadowy buccaneers; they materialize in Edward's bedroom one night and demand the book, believing it will guide them to their lost hoard. Edward, good library patron that he is, refuses to hand it over: ``It's checked out on my library card- -you'll have to wait till I return it.'' The pirates bluster and threaten, Edward's parents ride in for the rescue as Joan of Arc and Robin Hood, but all is resolved peacefully when Edward discovers that the pirates can't read and offers to read to them. This is a wonderful adventure on the high seas of a child's imagination, with an accomplished pen-and-ink artist showing himself equally proficient in chiaroscuro in deep-toned, textured acrylics. Edward and his large, faithful teddy are irresistible and are scheduled to return, if the book's last sentence is any indication: ``Some pirate treasure has never been found. . . .'' (Picture book. 4-8)

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. In this sequel to Santa's Book of Names (1993), Edward has become a voracious reader. Often the adventures portrayed on the printed page become very real to him, as they do when he begins a story about some lost pirate treasure. The pirates kidnap Edward, and he must count on the heroes from earlier stories (Mother dressed as Joan of Arc and Father as Robin Hood) to rescue him from their clutches. As it turns out, the pirates only want to be read to, and Edward happily obliges. McPhail's rich acrylic paintings exude a dark and mysterious aura and feature many sinister-looking characters from Edward's books lurking around every corner. A welcome promotion for the power of reading, this will make a great choice for Book Week story hours and should be popular with adventure fans everywhere. --Kay Weisman