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The Pirates Next Door    by Jonny Duddle order for
Pirates Next Door
by Jonny Duddle
Order:  USA  Can
Templar, 2012 (2012)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Here's a humorous tale with a bit of a bite at the end. When the Jolly Roger family moves into the staid neighborhood in the coastal community of Dull-on-Sea nearly everyone reacts in a negative manner. The consensus of the town's residents is quite simple:

'The neighborhood will sneer,
The way they dress the way they speak!
They won't fit in around here,
Their kids are always playing with
The most alarming toys ...

Not everyone refuses to accept the new family. Little Matilda is quite delighted with their eccentric neighbors and the fact there are some children next door to play with. As the list of the Roger clan's offenses grows, a ground swell rises to do something about the unwanted residents. A 'Fewer Pirates, More Nice People' petition is signed by fifty of the village's irate citizens and dropped off at the Town Hall.

'Before you know it, there'll be more we'll have pirates right next door!
The Jolly-Rogers cannot stay. You must make them go away!

Then the family pulls up anchor and leaves. What they leave behind is both surprising and, ironically, quite funny. Now the locals voice such sentiments as 'Oh, what a shame they left! They were such a charming family. I'm such a pirate fan, you know.'

Why the change of heart? You'll have to read the story to find out. Once you open the double fold-out that explains this total change of heart you'll also realize what hypocrites most of the adults in this story are. Now, the hard part may be explaining why this is so to your child. On the other hand, depending on the youngster's age, the child might see this without the need to call attention to it!

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