Reviews for Pirates at the Plate


Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Fall
Story by Mark Summers. Play-by-play narration describes a baseball match-up between Wild Bill and Hopalong Cassidy's cowboys and Long John Silver and Blackbeard's pirates. Needless to say, the game deteriorates into a trash-talking scuffle ("ya lily-livered seadog"; "ye bow-legged landlubber"), until Mom's call for dinner puts the game--and the boy narrator's imagination--on hold. Expertly rendered scratchboard illustrations act out the young sportscaster's story.

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Kirkus Reviews 2012 November #2
Cowboys and Pirates aren't just team names in this brangle on the base paths. With the "score knotted at 47 runs" each in the 22nd inning, Long John Silver uncorks a long fly to center: "The Cisco Kid's gonna have to giddy-up if he wants to catch this ball!" Using scratchboard with oil glazes, Summers portrays melodramatically posed figures in lavishly detailed costuming. He even mounts both infielders and outfielders on charging horses and gives literal expression to such terms as "on deck" (ship's deck, that is) and "bullpen." It looks like the stage is set for a rousing, benches-clearing brawl after Silver's attempt to steal second base and the ensuing exchange of insults ("Yer boys play like Barbies," sneers the Pirates' captain, Capt. Hook). Thankfully, a summons to dinner forces the lad who has been heretofore invisibly orchestrating it all to reluctantly abandon his suddenly tiny action figures. "Another game called on account of spaghetti." Aarrrgh. Or conversely, yup, git along. Good fun, regardless of the dialect. (Picture book. 5-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 December #1

Sure, the Pirates play for Pittsburgh and the Cowboys play (football) in Dallas, but Summers and Frisch have something else in mind: buccaneers versus cowherds in a rousing, rules-defying game of baseball. Several storied figures appear: Wild Bill (Hickok) and Hopalong Cassidy pitch for the Cowboys (Cassidy is seen literally "warming up in the bullpen," toasting his hands over a campfire, surrounded by steer). Summers both illustrated and conceived of his debut children's bookâ??his dramatic scratchboard caricatures of authors graced the signage and shopping bags at Barnes & Noble for yearsâ??and his illustrations give the book a regal air, despite the mischief players on both teams get up to and the many puns Frisch employs. When a "big-bopping Bluebeard wait on deck, he's seen kneeling, baseball bat in hand, aboard a storm-tossed ship in an eerily majestic wordless spread. That somber mood doesn't last, though: on the next page, Long John (Silver) "blasts one deep to center field" using a cannon. It's a rip-roaring story, and even the twist ending doesn't diminish its sense of playfulness and fun. Ages 6â??up. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Sure, the Pirates play for Pittsburgh and the Cowboys play (football) in Dallas, but Summers and Frisch have something else in mind: buccaneers versus cowherds in a rousing, rules-defying game of baseball. Several storied figures appear: Wild Bill (Hickok) and Hopalong Cassidy pitch for the Cowboys (Cassidy is seen literally "warming up in the bullpen," toasting his hands over a campfire, surrounded by steer). Summers both illustrated and conceived of his debut children's bookâ??his dramatic scratchboard caricatures of authors graced the signage and shopping bags at Barnes & Noble for yearsâ??and his illustrations give the book a regal air, despite the mischief players on both teams get up to and the many puns Frisch employs. When a "big-bopping Bluebeard wait on deck, he's seen kneeling, baseball bat in hand, aboard a storm-tossed ship in an eerily majestic wordless spread. That somber mood doesn't last, though: on the next page, Long John (Silver) "blasts one deep to center field" using a cannon. It's a rip-roaring story, and even the twist ending doesn't diminish its sense of playfulness and fun. Ages 6â??up. (Nov.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC

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