(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review).
(This review may contain spoilers).
I haven’t read the other books of Captain No-Beard, so I was a bit confused about why there were all of these animals on the ship… though, of course, my niece (who I was reading it with) had absolutely no trouble.
The illustrations were really good… and I thought they were important, too, since they did help me realise that members of the crew were animals. It was good to see that there was a lesson to be learned by the end of the book.
It was really good to have references made to the different types of clouds, but I felt they were big words that children wouldn’t necessarily understand. I did think that the explanations of the different types should have been included in the book itself, rather than in a list at the end of the book.
The prose was almost poetic and it created some really nice visual images in my head, helped along by the illustrations. While I didn’t truly believe the characters were in danger, there were some quite tense moments in the book… especially when Zach is clinging precariously to the flag in the narration and the illustration.
It was good to see that Captain No-Beard was so insistent on following his own path, because it gave me as a reader the chance to see the fact that the other crew members knew what they were doing and were probably better placed to make the decisions Captain No-Beard insisted on making himself.
This book was really easy to read with my niece, who enjoyed it enough to want her mum to read it to her before bed.
I did find the ending a bit confusing at first and I had to read it twice to figure out exactly what had happened, but I thought it was an interesting way of showing the kinds of games children play. My niece was a bit confused by one of the characters who was suddenly named, though, and it took me a moment or two to realise who he was.
I felt this book was an entertaining read for my niece and she did tell me she enjoyed it. I expect she’ll also enjoy other books in the same series.