Pirate Stew


Who is the children’s babysitter? Long John McRon, Ship’s Cook is most peculiar! Furthermore, it isn’t long after Mum and Dad leave for their night out, that Long John opens the door to a pirate crew who are definitely ‘not tame’.

Thereafter, when one of the children asks, ‘Excuse me, what’s for dinner?’ chaos erupts! The ingredients of the fridge leave the crew perplexed, with the only option for Long John to concoct a Pirate Stew. Yet, this stew is full of outrageous ingredients! ‘A haddock, fat or thin’ alongside ‘cannonballs and red bananas,’ and ‘locks from Davy Jones’s lockers‘ are thrown in. The mixture calls to be cooked ‘in a treasure chest’ alongside being stirred ’till it tastes its best’. Yet what happens if you eat it? Should the children dare? Or might they choose to be willing bystanders, directed to ‘haul the anchor’ as the house (!) heads off into the night? Might they be heading for treasure, (or possibly donuts)?

What a cacophony of colour and mayhem, rhyme and wonder! Bookwagon imagines Pirate Stew being read constantly at bedtime or aloud in class. It calls to be sung, performed and (pirate) treasured! Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have created a classic rhyming picture book destined to be loved.

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Pirate Stew

Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

(Bloomsbury Children’s Books)

Pirate Stew!/ Eat it and you won’t be blue,/ You can be a pirate too!’ What would you think if your babysitter, Long John McRon, Ship’s Cook, ‘produced an ancient pot’ before proceeding with an unknown ‘piping hot’ mixture? What have Mum and Dad done?
It is not long after they leave, that Long John opens the door to ‘a pirate crew’. They are nonplussed by the contents of the children’s fridge, and leave Long John to prepare the stew. Thereafter, onions, carrots, parrot seeds, leeks, limes, silver spoons, a curvy figure head and ‘half a sack of gold doubloons’ are amongst the ingredients! What is being created? It seems the ingredients and then the method never end? Can you believe seasoning with ‘mermaids’ tears’ or a ‘slice of plank for walking’? 
What might happen if the children ‘eat that pirate stew’? Could it be that they’ll ‘become a pirate too’? Or might there be another sail billowing adventure ahead? What will happen should the children ‘raise the anchor’? Furthermore, what will Mum and Dad do when they come home? What will they discover?
Pirate Stew is a thunderously great rhyming picture book collaboration from Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell, creators of titles such as Odd and the Frost Giants. This is a book to be sung, shared, performed and thereafter selected as a favourite bedtime story.


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