Pirates vs. Cowboys4stars



Pirates vs. Cowboys Is a Simple Misunderstanding

By Aaron Reynolds, Illustrated by David Barneda
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 32 pages

When Burnt Beard and his band of ruthless pirates find too much loot, they are forced to go ashore to bury their treasure. As they make their way onto land, the pirates meet Black Bob McKraw and the other cowboys of the Wild West. Trouble starts up when the troupe of pirates asks the cowboys (in fluent pirate, of course) where they might find a place to eat. The cowboys don’t understand what they’ve been asked and misinterpret the strange words as insults. Back and forth they argue, neither side understanding what is being said. Finally, Pegleg Highnoon – the pirate cowboy who understands what both groups are saying – steps in. Pegleg helps the pirates and cowboys find some common ground, and explains they need to work to understand each other. Then they all enjoy the afternoon together.

Pirates vs. Cowboys is a fun way to show children what can happen with a misunderstanding. Author Aaron Reynolds is able to demonstrate that speaking a different language or coming from a different culture can sometimes mean miscommunications happen. Resolution comes from taking the time to understand each other and find common ground.

The illustrations by David Barneda enhance the pirate/cowboy tale. Kids will laugh at the critter characters of Burnt Beard the octopus pirate and Bob McKraw the ring-nosed-bull cowboy. The book is suitable for children up to age 10, and will be enjoyed by all.

Reviewed by Sophie Sestero

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