Pirates, with their reputation for adventures and carefree lives, have long fascinated kids and adults alike. We’ve even lost track on how many pirate-themed media are out there.
The latest to join the band is How I Became a Pirate from Oceanhouse Media. This interactive app is adapted from the award-winning book written by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon. It follows a young boy who leads a pirate life for a day and discovers its ups and downs.
Avast, Me Laddies!
Young Jeremy Jacobs was happily building a sandcastle at the beach when Captain Braid Beard and his crew rowed to shore. The merry band of pirates had gotten lost while looking for a place to bury their treasure. Observing Jeremy’s handiwork, Braid Beard announced him a good digger and offered him a spot on his ship.
With his parents distracted at the other side of the beach, Jeremy happily climbed aboard. He learned all about being a pirate, including sea chanteys and (pretty much non-existent) pirate table manners.
At first, Jeremy was happy about not having to say please or thank you and not brushing his teeth before bed. But he soon learned that pirates did not tuck kids into bed or read bedtime stories either, and realized that maybe he didn’t want to be a pirate after all.
When a storm broke and wrecked the ship, Jeremy suggested they turn back and bury the treasure somewhere safe: his backyard. Happy to have completed their mission, the pirates entrusted their flag in Jeremy’s possession and told him to keep the treasure safe until their return.
Parents Need to Know
Like other Oceanhouse Media apps, How I Became a Pirate comes with excellent reading options. Kids can choose to read the story by themselves or have it read to them by professional narrators. Parents can also record their own narration.
As kids read, they can tap on any word on the page to hear it pronounced, and double tap on a paragraph to replay it. They can also tap on any object in the illustration to see it labeled and in big, red font.
The app doesn’t have third-party ads or in-app purchases. Links to the developer’s other apps are protected by gesture locks.
Things I Like
How I Became a Pirate is an entertaining tale that is sure to rouse the adventurous side in your kids. It also teaches kids to appreciate what they have and nudge them to brush their teeth, else they’d end up with awful, green teeth like the pirates.
A lighthearted read, the story doesn’t contain violence. However, parents should note that young Jeremy is depicted leaving with strangers while thinking his parents won’t mind if he comes back soon. Depending on your child’s age, you might want to remind them that it is, in fact, never okay to go with strangers.
Visually, the app is top-notch. The animations are subtle, but they nicely show off Shannon’s vibrant and detailed illustrations. The clever use of perspectives and weather effects create a cinematic effects, while the low-key sound effects add depth to the reading experience. I am also impressed by the professional narration.
A marvelous rendition of the award-winning book written by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon. It cleverly plays with animation and perspectives to create cinematic effects, as well as subtle sound effects to add a sense of depth. As with all Oceanhouse Media books, it comes with excellent reading options. Recommended for kids ages 5–8.
App was provided for our honest review.
Interested in owning a physical copy of How I Became a Pirate? You can buy the book on Amazon.