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Pirate Stew by Neil Gaiman, and illustrated by Chris Riddell

Title: Pirate Stew

Author: Neil Gaiman, and illustrated by Chris Riddell

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Published: 1st October 2020

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 48

Price: $22.99

Synopsis: Meet LONG JOHN McRON, SHIP’S COOK . . . and the most unusual babysitter you’ve ever seen.

Long John has a whole crew of wild pirates in tow, and – for two intrepid children – he’s about to transform a perfectly ordinary evening into a riotous adventure beneath a pirate moon. It’s time to make some PIRATE STEW.

Pirate Stew! Pirate Stew!
Pirate Stew for me and you!
Pirate Stew, Pirate Stew
Eat it and you won’t be blue
You can be a pirate too!

Marvellously silly and gloriously entertaining, this tale of pirates, flying ships, donut feasts and some rather magical stew is perfect for all pirates, both young and old. With a deliciously rhyming text from master storyteller Neil Gaiman, and spellbinding illustrations by the supremely talented Chris Riddell, three-times-winner of the Kate Greenaway Medal, this is the picture book of the year! Joyful, quirky and action-packed, it makes a spectacular and magical gift.


Two kids are left with pirates as babysitters while their parents go out for the night. But proceed with caution. What should be a calm night for this delightful brother and sister is about to turn into a rollicking pirate adventure with a magic stew, flying house and a pirate moon. They are taken on an adventure with Long John and his crew. The fact that he is a pirate doesn’t seem to worry their parents!

What happens when the kids are given Pirate Stew? Will they turn into pirates, or will they resist?

Neil Gaiman uses rhyme and poetry to tell a funny, delectable and hunger inducing tale of two children navigating a riotous night of fun and whimsy amidst the desire to do the right thing, and not make their parents angry. But in this fantasy adventure, with a flying ship akin to that of Hook’s ship at the end of Peter Pan and all its various iterations, magic is the name of the game!

The poetry swept me up on a delightful, fun and fabulous adventure, enchanting me with its perfect marriage of words and illustrations. Gaiman and Riddell have created something special to be treasured, that is diverse and fun, and representative of all kinds of people, dreams, and desires. I loved that this book flipped things around – the adults are the ones needing guidance, and the kids are responsible enough to know what the stew could do to them!

Pirate Stew is the stuff of dreams, and will make a great addition to any library and be a treasured bedtime story for all ages. It is lovely to read to yourself but will be extremely fun to read aloud to children of all ages, and the poetic flow makes the story race along at a spectacular speed that keeps the reader engaged and enchanted as they go on this delightful adventure with Long John and his crew.

Another wonderful offering from Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell.

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