Ahoy, Matey!

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Ahoy, Matey! The Barefoot Book of Pirates Retold by Richard Walker Illustrated by Olwyn Whelan Cambridge, MA: Barefoot Books, 1998 $19.99

Yarrrrr! Who doesn't love a good pirate tale? This rollicking collection includes seven pirate stories and illustrations by Olwyn Whelan on every page, which bring the stories to life. There's so much high-seas adventure, it's likely to win over even landlubbing sorts. As the author, Richard Walker, explains in the Sources page at the back of the book, each story has its roots in at least one tale from a different part of the world. The stories included are Scandinavian, English, German, Irish, Japanese, Scottish, and Moroccan, and each is imbued with a different flavor based on its origin.

The German tale, "The Kobold and the Pirates," introduces us to the idea of the kobold: a spirit from the German tradition that is believed to inhabit households as a sort of houseguest, sometimes helpful, sometimes troublesome, always keeping you on your toes.

In the story with Irish roots, "Pirate Grace," we meet a feisty and fearsome female pirate who quickly proves that she is to be taken seriously. …