I am not crazy about the story of Pirates Don’t Go to Kindergarten due to the slightly bratty nature of the main pirate. I mean, character. Emma is not fond of the idea of “moving on” to kindergarten from preschool. The ship will not be the same without her favorite cubbies, spots and most importantly, her favorite captain. Besides, going to kindergarten means her new captain is one that explores the universe. And what fun is that?
This idea of not wanting change, is not a new concept, but Lisa Robinson does take this story on a more modern approach. Still, there was nothing “fresh” to it. Emma tries to convince everyone that preschool is better, pirates do not go to space, pirates do not do the things kindergarteners do. It is when she tries to lead a mutiny in preschool, she learns there are a few things that pirates who should be in kindergarten do not do but that they must in preschool. So, in the end, everything turns out alright (as you knew it would) and Emma learns that being a space pirate can be fun, too.
However, the illustrations of Eda Kaban are funny, smart, detailed and bold. Great colors pop off the page as Emma finds doubloons, meets a Beastly Betsy and learns that she can still visit her old captain, even if her new one is cool, too. The little details of Emma’s imagination come to life as well as things like “toad stool” seats in the science area. While it did not jump out at me at first, their signature style is there (Kaban is also the illustrator of Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman; Captain Marvel What Makes a Hero by Pamela Bobowicz and Old MacDonald Had a Boat by Steve Goetz).
Pirates is a fun book to have in your preschool class to read at the end of the year, or during the summer to read to your future Space Pirate.