Captain Sparky and the Pool Pirates

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Sparky is not your average fourth-grade student; you won’t meet many fourth-graders, let alone girls, who are pirate captains! Captain Sparky and the Pool Pirates begins one warm day when Sparky is at the pool with her mom; a fear of getting your feet wet may seem counterintuitive to a trip to the pool, but learning to swim was on the agenda. As it’s time to leave, Sparky meets pirates Gobble, Wobble, and Bobble, and together, they make a compromise: they teach her how to be a pirate, and she teaches them how to be “nice” pirates.

During this time, Sparky is putting off her school assignment to make up a story, believing she has no ideas—after a life-changing trip with a sea hippopotamus, stranded on an island with rude turkeys, and learning the ways of a pirate, this is no longer the case. After such a fantastic story, one question remains for everyone involved: was it true?

Captain Sparky and the Pool Pirates is a laugh-out-loud story with hijinks and humor similar to others like Junie B. Jones and Ivy and Bean. You don’t know what’s next for Sparky and her pirate pals, but it’s never something you expect. T. E. Antonino does well to present a humorous and engaging story while including life lessons (learning to be nice) in between the lines for kids not to groan.

Sparky’s fear is getting her feet wet; she always wears her red galoshes. I’m wondering if this is a sensory issue that would add a demographic to relate? All readers will benefit from when she learns to overcome this fear. When Sparky teaches the pirates to be nice, it showcases that there shouldn’t be a stereotype for groups of people, even though some classmates think so.

The story in Captain Sparky and the Pool Pirates centers around a fourth-grade girl, and the themes are age-appropriate; some text includes more comprehensive words that will need to be defined. The story’s length is around one hundred pages, making it doable for binge-reading; the intended audience is appropriate for middle elementary through adults. When the mythical “sea hippopotamus” is mentioned, this brings a smile due to the comical imagery. Emotions and intensity are present during scenes when Sparky is upset, allowing the reader to empathize and take them to heart.

The author’s purpose was clear and executed perfectly. I secretly hope some readers will gather ideas, and we’ll see more pirates around us shortly.

Reviewed By:

Author T. E. Antonino
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 102 pages
Publisher T. E. Antonino
Publish Date 21-Oct-2023
ISBN 9798864965146 Buy this Book
Issue February 2024
Category Children's