Reviews for Tough Boris


Horn Book Guide Reviews 1994
Boris the pirate is tough, all right -- a fierce fighter, unkempt, scary, and mercenary. All the more important that, when his beloved parrot dies, Boris cries and cries. As the cabin boy reports, ""'All pirates cry. / And so do I.'"" The text is deceptively simple, but the observant child will quickly fill in the details, aptly provided in the illustrations. The reassuring message, although understated, is clear and effective. Copyright 1998 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Kirkus Reviews 1994 April
~ In Brown's swashbuckling watercolors, Boris is tough indeed- -hirsute, craggy, grim--but then, ``All pirates are tough.'' As Fox's text succinctly points out, he's also ``massive,'' ``scruffy,'' ``greedy,'' and ``fearless,'' all qualities demonstrated in the illustrations as he seizes a violin from one of his crew, threatens the whole ugly lot after it's been purloined (readers will know that the stowaway boy, who earlier watched while the pirates buried their treasure, is the real culprit). The ``scary'' pirates catch the boy but soften when they hear him play; and when Boris's parrot dies, the boy helps him put it in the violin case for burial at sea and Boris cries and cries--``All pirates cry.'' These pirates also let the boy keep the violin when they row him home. Kids are sure to enjoy puzzling out the real story from the pictures, to which, in the end, the text's childlike stereotyping makes an amusing contrast. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright 1999 Kirkus Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 1998 September #1
Boris the pirate is as mean, greedy and scary as they come. But when his parrot dies, he mourns like anyone else. Ages 4-8. (Sept.) Copyright 1998 Publishers Weekly Reviews

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School Library Journal Reviews 1994 May
PreS-Gr 2-Tough Boris is a treasure. This easy-to-read picture book features a repetitive, engaging text; a very popular subject; and an interesting subplot played out in the colorful illustrations. Boris von der Borch is a scruffy and fearless pirate who is nonetheless tender enough to cry when his pet parrot dies. While the brief text simply lists his attributes (and those of all other pirates), the energetic watercolors paint the larger picture. Boris and his crew dig up some buried loot and divide it (unevenly, of course), squabble over a prized violin, and enjoy the cabin boy's impromptu concert (after he's been caught stealing the instrument from Boris). As the story ends, the boy is taken ashore, mourning his exile from the ship but still clutching the precious violin. A compelling and entertaining tale of adventure.-Lisa Dennis, The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Copyright 1994 Cahners Business Information.

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