The Ghost Ship, Paperback

The Ghost Ship Paperback

Edited by Jude Irwin

Illustrated by Sam Walshaw

Part of the Maisey and the Pirates series

2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 32 pages, Full colour
  • Publisher: Fantasi Books (Pty) Ltd
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Picture books: character books
  • ISBN: 9781906081447



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I am only mildly interested in this picture book we received at a book exchange. The story features Maisey and her friends, who are great fans of playing pirate. At the beginning of the story, one of the pirates - Captain Codeye - is telling a story about a mysterious ghost ship that haunts the seas. The children laugh it off. Maisey's younger sister, Milly, wants to join in the pirate adventures, too, but her sister tells her that she's too young. Milly is not one to be put off, and comes up with a plan. She will become a ghost to scare her sister and friends; that way, she is joining in the play after all, and getting a little harmless revenge. The ruse works for a bit, until her sister discovers Milly's headscarf on the deck of their ship. The jig is up, but just as everyone is laughing together, a real ghost ship floats by. Only Milly sees it, and no one believes her, so they sail home to await their next sea adventure. The story is adequate, and resembles cartoons for young children: the plot is extremely predictable, and older readers will be surprised that the characters take so long to figure it out (but early readers probably won't). The subject matter is a hot topic for children, and my girls love pirates. Nonetheless, their attention is only partly engaged with the book when I read it to them. The story is too cliche, and the characters don't have distinct personalities, aside from Milly. Also, the blend between fantasy and reality is ambiguous. I love stories that present the power of imagination, but the text or the pictures need to intimate the fantasy, and this book doesn't execute the concept well. Also, where are the parents? This picture book is mediocre, with cute characters but a tired story.

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