Ned the Knitting Pirate by Diana Murray Book Review

Ned the Knitting Pirate by Diana Murray
Illustrations by Leslie Lammle
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Release Date: August 23, 2016

The crew of the pirate ship the Rusty Heap are a fearsome bunch! They're tougher than gristle and barnacle grit. They heave and they ho and they swab and they . . . knit? Well, one of them does, at least! Unfortunately for Ned, his knitting doesn't go over well with the captain and crew. They urge him to hide his hobby and strive to be scurvier, like pirates should be. But when the briny ocean beast shows up to feast on the Rusty Heap and its crew, maybe Ned's knitting is just the ticket to save the day!

I like pirates. I like books about pirates who do absurd things that are un-piratelike. But I didn't like this book. Firstly, pirates/sailors were actually fairly good at sewing as they were expected, with no women on board, to darn their own socks, wash their clothes, sew up holes, fix hammocks, repair sails, etc. It wouldn't have been such a leap to think there were seamen who knew how to knit and crochet. Second, the rhyming schema felt a bit clunky to me. I read it once to myself and then out loud and found myself stumbling over the text. The illustrations were quite lovely, but couldn't carry the entire book.