Parents' Guide to

The Pirate Cruncher

By Darienne Stewart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 3+

Too full of clever laughs to scare most young mateys.

The Pirate Cruncher Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 4+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 4+

One of my favorite read-aloud books

"The Pirate Cruncher" and "The Gruffalo" are the best read-aloud books ever. I have twin 5 yo boys, and they adore listening to me read this book. We've owned it for about a year. For "Pirate Cruncher", you get to alternate between singing a pirate chanty and growling the pirate captain's commands. The illustrations are richly detailed and teach foreshadowing. My kids love looking at the illustrations and pointing out details of the pirates' costumes and evidence of the Pirate Cruncher.
age 4+

A great book for kids AND parents

We started reading this book to my son when he was four and he still likes it at age six, but probably not as much as I do! The pirates do get eaten in the end, so it's pretty dark, but so playfully written and beautifully illustrated, most kids will be fine.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (2 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Both menace and humor are surprisingly well combined in this book's lively illustrations. “I think treasure brings nothing but trouble!” squawks a macaw early in this cautionary tale. He’s right, of course, but like most adventures the real fun is in the journey. The eccentric crew’s thoughts are shown in cartoon bubbles, shifting from treasure to monsters, but they set aside their doubts. The abundant visual jokes -- a sleeping pirate cuddling a teddy bear with an eye patch, a tentacle salting an oblivious pirate’s breakfast egg -- infuse the deliciously dark story with sly humor.

This may not be good bedtime reading for sensitive kids -- aside from the monster issue, the dark tones of the early pages and the decorated font can make it a bit difficult to read in subdued lighting. Observant readers may pick up on the clever twist at the end early on, and those who miss the hints the first time will pore over the book to find all the clues. The fiddler's rhyming chantey has an easy, fun rhythm without going overboard on pirate talk.

The pirate cruncher’s long tentacles quietly curl through each page, pulling its prey ever closer. The gotcha ending is wonderfully played.

Book Details

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