Would you please be quiet for a minute?
How many times a day does your mom, dad, teacher or grandma say that to you? Probably really often, even though they were kids once, not too long ago, and even though they know how hard it is to keep your mouth closed and your ears open when there's so much to say.
But would you believe that it's just as hard to keep quiet when you're a pirate? It is, and in the new book "NO PIRATES ALLOWED! Said Library Lou" by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Brian Ajhar, you'll see all the problems that can make.
Everything was "just right" at Seabreezy Library. People were reading silently, working on the computers and looking things up, when bang! Big Pirate Pete stomped through the library's door.
"X Marks this spot!" he hollered. He was, of course, looking for treasure, but nobody could get close enough to tell him that Seabreezy was a library.
Big Pete smelled terrible.
But Library Lou was having none of that. She told Big Pete to be quiet. Shhhhh!
Big Pete snarled at Library Lou but she wasn't scared of a pirate, and there was a nasty stare-down. Then Library Lou said that if Big Pete couldn't hush, there would be NO PIRATES ALLOWED in her building! She asked to see Big Pete's treasure map and yes, indeed, there was treasure at Seabreezy Library.
Library Lou told Pete that she'd help him find the treasure, but first -- he had to go home and take a bath. "Then come back tomorrow," she said.
The next day, Library Lou handed Big Pete another assignment. "X" didn't mark the spot; there were a whole bunch of letters to look through. It might've been a secret code, which would take a long time to figure out. Library Lou gave Big Pete a pile of words, and told him to "come back tomorrow."
But after a few days of Q and L and Z, Big Pete got impatient. Was there actually gold hidden in the rows and rows and rows of books on the shelves? Was there another clue for him? Where, exactly, was the treasure inside Seabreezy Library?
If you and your child are readers, you know where it is. But "NO PIRATES ALLOWED! Said Library Lou" is a fun (and funny) reminder.
With a rhyme and a growl, author Rhonda Gowler Greene offers faux-ferocity to a pirate who's really a pussycat, and gentleness to a tiny librarian who turns out to be a tiger. Kids who love books -- and even those who don't -- will surely want to see where Big Pete finds his "gold." Add in the absolutely wonderful illustrations by Brian Ajhar (pay attention to Big Pete's facial expressions!), and you've got a book that's aarrghreally appealing.
I'd highly recommend being very silly with this book, and putting your best pirate on when reading it aloud. Do that, and "NO PIRATES ALLOWED! Said Library Lou" will keep your 3- to 7-year-old quiet -- at least for a minute.
• Terri Schlichenmeyer, aka The Bookworm, has been reading since she was 3 years old and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill in Wisconsin with two dogs and 12,000 books.