Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers by Alex English & Duncan Beedie

Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers is the amusing, rhyming tale of a young pirate who is obsessed with diggers!

The Story: Young pirate Brad dreams of working on a building site but Dad says he must join a pirate crew. Nervous Brad boards The Salty Dog where he is put through a series of tests, all of which he fails. He begs for a last chance and Captain Blood sends him off to find treasure. Brad’s spade breaks while he is digging and it seems that he will have to walk the plank but then he spies a building site and asks if he can borrow a digger…

Pirates Don't Drive Diggers Story SnugPirates Don’t Drive Diggers is a really fun, easy to read rhyming story with a wonderful repetitive refrain ‘Pirates don’t drive diggers, Lad!’. Brad really struggles with the skills that pirates need, he doesn’t read the compass correctly and he hides when fighting starts. Captain Blood has lost his patience with Brad by the time he sends him into shark infested waters to recover the treasure but it is at Brad’s lowest moment that his digger obsession saves him. Even the builders on the construction site don’t believe that Brad can drive a digger until he impresses them with his knowledge and when Brad returns with the treasure Captain Blood admits that he was wrong, pirates do drive diggers!

Duncan Beedie’s illustrations are brilliant! They’re bold, colourful and very distinctive, we found it difficult to choose favourites. They’re full of humorous action and we love the inclusion of the female pirate who isn’t afraid to fight a huge octopus with her fishing net! My daughter and I both like the picture of Brad falling into Captain Blood’s bunk, the pattern on the captain’s shower curtain is fabulous and we’ve never seen a pirate doing the vacuuming before! The deep turquoise coloured end papers include small pirate and construction vehicle related pictures and we think that the customised rowing boat at the back of the book is great.

Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers would be a fun picture book to include in an Early Years classroom topic on transport and vehicles. It’s also a great story to stimulate discussion about self belief (throughout the book Brad is emphatic about his ability to drive a digger), admitting when you are wrong (as Captain Blood does) and also to talk about stereotyping – because some pirates do drive diggers!

A fantastic, read aloud story with great scope for practising pirate voices!

Age Range: 2 +

Author: Alex English / Illustrator: Duncan Beedie

Thank you to Maverick for sending us a review copy of Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers. We love it and are sure that it will appeal to all little people who are obsessed with diggers!

18 thoughts on “Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers by Alex English & Duncan Beedie

    • That’s true, it’s tough for children whose parents want them to follow in their footsteps. Brad’s determination and obsession proves that he doesn’t have to be like his dad.

Leave a Reply