Truth be told, most children would greatly enjoy a pirate family moving in next door. Not so adults in civilised society, though. Nothing very exciting happens in the suburban town of “Dull-on-Sea”. The house next door to Tilda has been up for sale since she was a baby. She always hoped that one day a girl her own age might move in. But in what proves to be the start of a wonderful friendship and adventure, a friendly pirate family and their son, a pirate boy move in!
Neighbours quickly start to gossip about their ship that blocks views, their ‘alarming toys’, their ‘disgraceful’ garden, dirty nails, old clothes and ‘scruffy hats.’ The noise of hammering all night as they fix up their boat is disturbing,and the two Miss Yates at number 88 notice they make the postman walk the plank. They all collect a petition of signatures that states the pirate family are unwelcome and will have to go away, only ‘nice people’ are welcome. How the neighbourly dispute is resolved and a turnaround in attitudes comes about makes for an interesting story for children, emphasising values of kindness and neighbourly welcome in a humourous way. Children will enjoy the ending!
Illustrations are bright and amusing with a fold-out double page spread featuring views out Tilda’s window of the magnificent pirate ship being repaired in the moonlight. Pirates are an enduring popular subject of children’s literature and can often encourage reluctant readers.
A former children’s librarian, Jane Fagan is currently a full-time mother of two.