Pride Month: ‘The Pirate Mums,’ by Jodie Lancet-Grant, illustrated by Lydia Corry.

‘Some crews aren’t quite like the rest.’

This story was created as a result of author Jodie Lancet-Grant’s frustration at being unable to find any picture books featuring LGBTQ+ families to read to her twin daughters – she and her wife wanted them to see their own experience reflected back to them. The result is this rollicking pirate adventure:

‘Billy’s family is not what you’d call ordinary. His mums won’t listen to NORMAL music. They love to sing sea shanties and dance jigs in the lounge. Their clothes are highly unusual, they have a rude parrot for a pet, and their taste in house design is, well . . . FISHY. Billy wishes his family could be more like everyone else’s. Until a swashbuckling adventure changes everything!’

I’m sure all readers will identify with Billy’s embarrassment about his mums being a little be different to everyone else. Parents are a continual source of embarrassment for all children but not all children have mums who are actually pirates! Readers will develop their skills of empathy when reflecting on Billy’s feelings about his mums’ behaviour and explore their feelings about their own carers too.

This picture book is a joyous celebration of LGBTQ+ families. It would be a brilliant choice for exploring different types of relationships & families, allowing readers to consider family set-ups they may not have encountered before. Books should expand children’s worlds as well as reflect their own realities.

Any pirate topic would also be greatly enhanced by the addition of this title as pirate books featuring female pirates are few and far between. The more we can find, the merrier! There’s plenty of sea-faring vocabulary to be learnt and illustrations to explore which would enrich any project.

Library Girl.

*Many thanks to Oxford Children’s Books for sending me this title to review*

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