We couldn’t wait for the publication of Jonny Duddle’s new story, The Jolley-Rogers and the Pirate Piper. It’s a real page turner that introduces an extremely nasty villain, Captain Horatio Rattus, who offers to help the inhabitants of Dull-On-Sea get rid of a plague of rats.
The Story: Captain Horatio Rattus unleashes thousands of rats into Dull-on-Sea. They get everywhere and rat catcher Norbert Grimes struggles to catch them. Horatio appears at a town hall meeting, disguised as The Pirate Piper, and offers to get rid of them in exchange for ten thousand pounds. In desperation the mayor, Harvey Carrot, agrees. The Pirate Piper catches the rats but when he doesn’t get the money that he asked for he uses the town’s children to get his revenge. Can Matilda and Jim Jolley-Roger come up with a plan to save the children and get rid of The Pirate Piper and his rats?
We love the way that music plays such a big role in the story. The Pirate Piper’s enchanting rat catching tunes, Jim listening to heavy metal and Nugget’s fiddle playing are all woven into the devious plan that Matilda and Jim come up with to rescue the town’s children and get rid of Captain Horatio Rattus and his rats.
It’s fabulous to see how the relationships between The Jolley-Rogers and the inhabitants of Dull-On-Sea have developed since we first met the family in The Pirates Next Door. Matilda’s parents weren’t at all enamoured by Jim and Matilda’s friendship but in the Pirate Piper, their fathers work together to help Jim and Matilda put their plan into action. Jim’s little sister, Nugget, also plays a huge role in the rescue plan with her fiddle playing, opinion is divided as to how well she can play – her family do their best to get away while she is practising but Matilda and the town’s children are enchanted by her tunes.
The Pirate Piper is a great first chapter book, it has an easy to read text which is supported by Jonny Duddle’s fabulous illustrations. The story is full of action and intrigue and Captain Horatio Rattus is a particularly nasty piece of work. We couldn’t wait to see how Matilda and Jim’s plan would work and whether he would get his comeuppance.
Jim and Matilda’s plan is complicated and very cleverly put into place, their pets play important roles too. Fluff the cat’s unusual behaviour helps Matilda to discover what has happened to the town’s children and Bones, the wooden legged dog, is assigned a very important role as a messenger.
The Pirate Piper has a great plot with lots of action and intrigue to keep you turning the pages until the very end. It’s a brilliant story!
Age Range: 5 +
Author / Illustrator: Jonny Duddle
Thank you Templar Publishing for sending a review copy of The Jolley-Rogers and the Pirate Piper. We couldn’t put it down and read it in one sitting.