PIRATES DON’T DANCE
By: Shawna J.C. Tenney
Published: August 26, 2022
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Jack has always wanted to be a pirate. He arrived for training and was excited to learn how to search for treasure, keep the ship tidy, and most of all, be with his pirate friends. But, as the rhythm of the boat and the daily tasks took hold, he felt moved to dance. The problem was, “Pirates don’t dance!” said Captain.
With onomatopoeias and idioms plus ballet and pirate terms, there is a lot to learn on the pages. But, the best part is the joy on Jack’s face every time he is able to dance. Jack knows he isn’t supposed to dance, but his body just can’t help it. As much as he wants to be a pirate, he still loves to dance.
When the most feared pirate appears on the seas and a battle ensues, Jack and the other trainees are banished to their rooms. But, as Jack hears the rhythms of the stomping feet on board, he can’t stay away and not do something. So…he dances!
The illustrations are wonderful showing all kinds of pirates, fun adventures on the ship, and various dance positions. Jack’s sadness when he is told he can’t dance and the joy when he does as well as the other pirates are clear. Dancing is fun!
All of us have interests that may not fit expectations. Our sons loved show choir and were darn good at it, but in other schools, boys performing in show choir just wasn’t cool. Jack wants to be a pirate but he also wants to dance. Why can’t he do both? Jack’s lesson is that you should do what you love to do, no matter what others think. The back of the book shares idioms from the story, pirate terms, ballet terms, and an important note of advice from the author.
Shawna J.C. Tenney found her brief pirate training one summer at an amusement park integral to the making of this book. She’s also grateful for the many hours she spent at the ballet studio in her youth. Shawna is the author and illustrator of BRUNHILDA’S BACKWARDS DAY. She lives in Eagle Mountain, Utah. Learn more at her website, HERE.