Baseball games can get heated at the best of times. But when pirates and cowboys face off anything can happen. With famous figures like Long John Silver at bat while Wild Bill Hickok pitches under the direction of coach Bat Masterson, this game is sure to be one for the ages.
With only thirty-two pages, it’s sometimes difficult for picture books to have any real twists or surprises–unexpected outcomes that are a shock even to older readers.Frisch and Summers have created one such book in Pirates at the Plate.
With eye-catching illustrations that look like retro television footage complete with lines through the images, Summers’ artwork bring this epic baseball battle vividly to life. Frisch’s text leaves plenty of room for wordplay as the Cowboy bullpen is filled with bulls and a Pirate steals a base only to literally steal it in his loot sack.
When the game goes in an expected direction courtesy of one very imaginative boy, the story is nicely tied up–at least until the next day’s game. Pirates at the Plate is truly clever and sure to garner a few laughs. However, it is also filled with baseball terminology that may not translate well for non-sports fans making this a must-read for baseball fans but a harder sell for readers who are in it for the cowboys (or the pirates).
Possible Pairings: Half-Pint Pete the Pirate by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and Geraldo Valerio, Shark Vs. Train by Chris Barton and Tom Lichtenheld, Swamp Angel by Anne Isaacs and Paul O. Zelinsky, Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds and Peter Brown, How I Became a Pirate by David Shannon, Casey at the Bat by Ernest L. Thayer and Christopher Bing, Bad Day at River Bend by Christopher Van Allsburg