[[ Free Prime ]] The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate (Puffin Picture Story Book)Author Margaret Mahy –

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10 thoughts on “The Man Whose Mother Was a Pirate (Puffin Picture Story Book)

  1. says:

    A wonderful book. A timid little man who works in an office lives with his exuberant, former pirate mother, who longs to return to the sea. The little man begs two weeks off from his boss, buttons his brown suit, ties his brown shoes and they set off. Since they have no money, the little man transports his mother in a wheelbarrow with a kite tied to it. Along the way they meet various characters who try to put the little man off the sea, but he begins to hear a song at the back of his head, which he believes is the sea. His mother lovingly tells him of the beauty of the sea, and by the time they have got to the shore his buttons have popped off his suit. Finally, they arrive, and the little man and his pirate mother dance with joy on the sand. There they meet a pirate captain and join his ship.

    I adore Margaret Mahy. Her picture books have a beautiful poetry to them; they are ambiguous and she is ambitious for her readers. She resists pointing a trite moral; she explicitly tells readers to go to the sea to find their own message to the story. However what I take from this book is that sometimes, it is good for the most buttoned up of us to have an adventure and dance hippy-hoppy-happy hornpipes on the sea shore.

  2. says:

    Rather like John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat, this is a book which you keep coming back to and interpreting it differently to the last read. When I read this as a student, I saw it as fun and a little silly but now that I am a little older (alright - a lot) I see this story as a wonderful ode to having the courage and right mind to leave behind those things that are not as important as they may once seem. And who is it that helps our little accountant to help realise this? His mother of course. And why not.
    One of my Headteachers said to me: Work to live, don't live to work and I have tried very hard to stick to this motto as best as I can. It is a fitting one for this tale too and looking back over it again, I cannot help but fall a little in love with the match between Mahy's prose and Chamberlain's illustrations - especially those early pages where Chamberlain really does make a fine attempt and using these long landscape scenes.
    Often caught pacing the seashore of her native home in Whakatane, New Zealand and having been brought up with readings from Treasure Island and Tom Sawyer, it is easy to see how important the draw of the sea and escape is to Mahy (Mah-hee).

  3. says:

    This one was one of my very favourite childhood books. I don't know how Goodreads knew to recommend it to me :O

  4. says:

    5 stars for Margaret Mahy's way with words which elevates even the simplest concepts to something more. Have you ever laid eyes on the (I'm sure fundamental) instructional book - "How to avoid huge ships?" well, Margaret Mahy could write the book on: how to avoid maudlin writing.

  5. says:

    Author: Margaret Mahy
    Illustrator: Margaret Chamberlain
    First Published: 1972, with illustrator Brian Froud.

    I like Margaret Mahy. She's a very clever NZ author (two time winner of the Carnegie Medal, 1982 & 1984, winner of the Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing, 2006), and I really enjoy the twist she has put on the pirate motif. In "The Man Whose Mother was a PIRATE" Mahy merges the ridiculous (riding a wheelbarrow to the sea) with the beauty and majesty of the ocean.

    I love the ocean. I grew up facing the Great Australian Bight and Indian Ocean. We visited the beautiful beaches, swam in the waves, and sailed them. There is a glory, as well as a fear, in the changing nature of the tides, both of which Mahy evokes beautifully in her classic picture book.
    "'But the sea - ah, the sea! It tosses you up and pulls you down. It speeds you and calms you. There's a bit of everything in the sea.'" p.14

    A clever, colourful book which engages, entertains, and informs. Well worth the time to enjoy together.

    - The Margaret Mahy Award, named for Mahy, is a NZ literary prize awarded for "a significant contribution to the broad field of children's literature and literacy. This includes writing, illustration, publishing and academic fields."
    - Margaret Mahy passed away in 2012 at the age of 76, after a brief battle with cancer.

    Read aloud: 4+
    Read yourself: 7+ (simple vocab, nothing difficult)

    (ISBN 9780140554304)

  6. says:

    My aunt has a copy of this book with the pictures done in collage by Brian Froud, and it is wonderful. It is about a little man whose mother...was a pirate, and their journey to the sea.

    Speaking as someone who could not be content without large bodies of water nearby, Mahy captures a great deal of the sea's hold on those beings who love it in a simple children's book, putting beaurocats and pessimists in their place as she does so. The lack of modern-style neon arrows and fanfare at the fact that it's the man's mother who was a pirate (as though brigandly women were unnatural curiousities) is refreshing: she wears an old woman shawl, a pistol, cutlass and a rose behind her ear, and the mother-son relationship is sketched in quick and true as any I've seen written.

    A gem of a picture book for any young friends or relatives, especially if you can get a copy like mine with the ex-pirate's gold brocade and brown-paper face all in fascinating textured print.

  7. says:

    In this edition, large illustrations spread across the pages and take precedence to the text, making it suitable for early readers who are treated to the most wonderfully light, airy and colourful illustrations that take you right into the story, as well as rich and descriptive vocabulary.
    The mother in the story, to me, represents the sea itself - untamed and wild, full of life and never dull. Her presence dominates every page she's in with her colourful, extroverted clothes and her bright white, tufty hair.
    This delightful and refreshing story had my daughter and I looking forward to seeing the sea just as much as the characters in the book. It is about the feelings that the sea evokes and the journey there as opposed to what to do when you get there and it carries a good moral: Don't be discouraged from following your own path, don't settle and don't be held back by others. Let go a little and you never know where life may take you!

  8. says:

    A respectable, hard working man who has never seen the sea; despite his mother being a pirate back in the day, agrees to take her back for a holiday to relive her good old days. Warned by Mr Fat, his boss to be back at work after two weeks hits home about how finding a work life balance can be difficult.
    Making do with what little they have they set off on their adventure and have an amazing time. He becomes free and enjoys living and exploring so much he sends Mr Fat a letter in a bottle advising he shall not be returning to work at all.

  9. says:

    Margaret Mahy's books are just wonderful.

  10. says:

    Terrific story about a timid little man whose larger than life ex-pirate mother convinces him to take her back to the sea. The illustrations are what really makes it pop with vim and vigour.