Pirates in Class 3
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Pirates in Class 3
Class 3 erupted with noise when
Ms. Bitsy left the room.
Alex and his classmates laughed and chased and played.
A teacher’s leaving the room is, for some students, an invitation to misbehave, and that is what happens when Ms. Bitsy, Class 3C’s teacher, absents herself from the classroom. However, the class’ unscheduled “free play time” is interrupted by a pirate, Captain Calamity, who knocks on the classroom window, claiming that he is searching for treasure. The students point out that treasure is normally “buried at the bottom of the ocean...or on a desert island.” However, Captain Calamity claims to have a map and evidently had been told by its previous owner:
“You will find buried treasure,
In class 3.
Under the sea
Is where the treasure will be.”
The children draw the Captain’s attention to the fact that the school doesn’t even have a pool, let alone a sea, but, when Captain Calamity worries that Pirate Bloodloss will beat him to the treasure, the children decide to help him. Agreeing that the Captain’s map does indicate their school, they search the classroom looking for treasure, albeit with no success, until one student, Alex, recalls that the letters of the alphabet are attached to the wall. His conclusion? That the “sea” that Captain Calamity is seeking must be under the letter “C”, and so it is. Before the children and the Captain can recover any treasure, Ms. Bitsy returns. Much to the children’s surprise and delight, she joins them in their treasure search beneath the C/sea. With the treasure recovered, everyone returns to the classroom where they are confronted by “a rather mean and scary looking pirate”, Bloodloss. Ms. Bitsy comes to the rescue by telling Bloodloss that there’s no bullying in her classroom and that, if he does not leave, she “will tell his parents”. Alex, looking again at the posted alphabet, suggests that there could be even more treasure awaiting as “X always marks the spot. The final illustration suggests that perhaps Captain Calamity has found a new “treasure” as he compliments Ms. Bitsy on her bravery, and she replies, “Call me Daphne.”
Pirates in Class is simply an over-the-top, fun read, one in which Captain Calamity has the pirate’s requisite hook (although he holds it in his hand) and Pirate Bloodloss a peg leg. The book’s large format and font size facilitate well its use as a read-aloud with a group of children.
A closing “Illustrator’s Note” explains that “The character design for Captain Calamity and Alex was drawn in my sketchbook with a pencil crayon and then all final artwork was created digitally using painting software and drawn with a graphics tablet.”
Dave Jenkinson, CM's editor, lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.