The Ballad of the Pirate Queens by Jane Yolen, David Shannon Illustrator Beautifully illustrated poem of Anne Bonny and Mary Reade s journey on the Vanity when confronted by the Albion. This ballad is about two of the most famous female pirates ever to sail the high seas There have always been women throughout the ages who have chosen unorthodox routes to wealth and privilege or simply a higher level of living than other women Whether they have been reviled or admired, they leave the reader secretly envying their daring, their fierce refusal to follow in the steps of other women.In the case of this ballad, there is no comparison with other women Instead Anne Bonney and Mary Reade work their way on their pirate ship The Vanity alongside men The spear sex proves woefully lacking when the ship is under attack but the women manage to avoid their fate as only women can.The illustrations are by David Shannon His painterly talents feature impressionistic strokes that ably capture sails, clouds, waves, swords and fire et al along with distinct but casually displayed features Mr Shannon knows that less meansand the roughness of his pictures are a terrific match for this story of two rough and ready women who must fight for their living in an uncultivated milieu that demanded flinty courage as well as flint and steel. Two Sailors Were Keeping Watch Alone When The Governor S Men Stormed Aboard The Vanity Those Two The Legend Inspiring Pirate Queens Anne Bonney And Mary Reade Fought Bravely But Called In Vain For Their Shipmates, Who Sported And Drank Below Deck Jane Yolen S Stirring Ballad Immortalizes These Two Daring Women And Offers Readers An Intriguing Look At Life On The High Seas These ladies may have been badass historic figures, but the poetic retelling herein was boring. Apparently these characters are based on two real women pirates that sailed in the 1700s I found the story just a touch dark, and the subject matter and writing style to befor an older crowd, so although this is a picture book, I m sure your third grader and up will appreciate it .Ages 8 12Cleanliness a woman dresses like a man There is mention of drinking and gaming Like my reviews I also have hundreds of detailed reports that I offer too These reports give a complete break down of everything in the book, so you ll know just how clean it is or isn t I also have Clean Guides downloadable PDFs which enable you to clean up your book before reading it Visit my website The Book Radar. Yolen presents an ode to pirate queens Anne Bonney and Mary Reade, who alone stood on the deck of the Vanity, and fought off invading sailors while the ship s male crew partied below Once taken into custody, the women used a uniquely female excuse to avoid dancing at the end of the hangman s noose The story is based on fact, though there seems to be some question over what actually became of the gals after the verdict was announced.The marvelous illustrations are by David Shannon, best known for his No, David books. The story of Anne Bonney and Mary Reade, two female pirates who sailed with Calico Jack Rackham on the Vanity When the Vanity is captured by soldiers, Anne and Mary fight alone with the rest of the crew being drunk They are all hauled off to jail The rest of the crew are hanged, but Anne and Mary plead that they are pregnant and merely the wives of the pirates and are set free. This has been a favorite in our home for years Dug it out again today and the kids were thrilled when I started reading it We had just come to the 17th century in our history reading which was on pirates krb 1 4 17 Jan Yolen sets to verse a fictionalized biography of two females sailing the high seas aboard the seaworthy Vanity in The Ballad of the Pirate Queens Anne Bonney and Mary Read alone defend their vessel against capture while the rest of the crew drinks rum and plays cards Yolen s skillful rhymes create urgency and propel the plot towards the eventual capture and trial of the Vanity s crew David Shannon s acrylic paintings illuminate the progressive undulation of Yolen s chorus And silver the coins and silver the moon, Silver the waves on the top of the sea, When the pirate ship comes sailing in, That gallant Vanity While Shannon s characteristic flesh tones and his ability to capture expressive actions are recognizable, absent is the ever glinting humor of his popular David series He draws Anne Bonney and Mary Read with the gravitas deserved by these heroic and historic women.Some may deem this book inappropriate for young readers due to taboo topics as cross dressing, drunkenness, marital cruelty, and pregnant incarceration Others will deemThe Ballad of the Pirate Queens an entertaining and colorful nonfiction tale of British maritime life in the 18th century. When my daughter was 3 years old, this was her favorite book for an entire summer We read it every night, sometimes twice The book inspired her to want to be a pirate when she grew up As well as a pirate for Halloween that year Now she is a young teen and this helps to explain her love for fiction stories that are written in verse.