The Pirate Jamboree


  • The Pirate Jamboree
  • written and illustrated by Mark Teague
  • published by Orchard Books/Scholastic (2016)
  • Roar Score: 4/5

If you have kids, then Mark Teague’s art is likely very familiar to you. In addition to his own wonderful books, he’s also the artist behind the How Do Dinosaurs…? books with author Jane Yolen.

We’re in love with his style and big fans of his work. His newest book, The Pirate Jamboree, is told in verse and concerns the fearsome neighborhood pirates: the Johnson brothers (Blackbeard, Bluebeard, and Beigebeard), Sharktooth Jane, Eye Patch Sue, Cap’n Gunderboom, and Peg Leg Jones.

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Look at them, this scurvy brood!
Rascals of every kind!
Sailing across the neighborhood,
with mischief on their mind!

Once the parents go to work and the kids are allowed to let their imaginations run wild, they begin to arrive on their ships, each more decked out than the last. Ultimately, they all join together for general mayhem, piracy, and…juice boxes.

Nothing can stop them and their wild ways, except of course for the dreaded Mrs. Jones who ends the adventure on the S.S. Clean Your Room!

The book is a lot of fun, the art is incredibly charming, and the story is an ode to those magical, imaginative summer days of childhood. Who among us didn’t set sail across the oceans, scale the highest mountains, or trek through impenetrable jungles during summer vacation?

Even if only in our minds or friend’s backyard.

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(Disclosure: Scholastic provided me with a review copy of this book. All opinions remain my own.)

Jamie is a publishing/book nerd who makes a living by wrangling words together into some sense of coherence. He's the founder and owner of The Roarbots and also a contributor to Syfy Wire,, and GeekDad. On top of that, he hosts The Great Big Beautiful Podcast, which celebrates creativity in popular culture, science, and technology by talking to a wide variety of people who contribute to it.

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