A joyful funny feast: Read our review of Pirate Stew by bestselling author Neil Gaiman

A joyful funny feast: Read our review of Pirate Stew by bestselling author Neil Gaiman

From multi award-winning writer and illustrator duo, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell comes the most anarchical, boisterous, and brightest picture book of the year! Pirate Stew is the perfect blend of ingredients that engage children and adults in read-aloud fun. With rhyme and rhythm, colourful and detailed illustrations, outrageous characters, and over-the-top bravado this tale carries us into an imaginary land that will ignite imaginations and unleash a new wave of pirate costuming and posturing. 

The young narrator and his sister bid farewell to their parents, who are going out to dinner. They have arranged a babysitter who introduces himself as “Long John McRon, Ships Cook”. With a hook for a hand, a pegleg, a very impressive pirate hat and an apron full of cooking ingredients he is the epitome of pirate bluster and boldness. Soon his pirate crew arrive, and a rumpus commences. 

Long John McRon commandeers the kitchen, and a stew is concocted of surprising ingredients. With a heave-ho, the pirates and children sail off to raid the local donut shop, returning home just in time for the parents’ return and a surprise ending! 

Neil Gaiman is a prolific author, writing across many genres of fiction. His YA novels and adult titles are eagerly awaited by his legions of adoring fans. His dozens of picture books are tremendously popular with children, adults, teachers, and librarians around the world.  He is the first author to have won both the Carnegie and Newbury medals for the same work – The Graveyard Book. Many of his books including Coraline and Stardust have been made into popular films. He has written episodes for Doctor Who and he has appeared in The Simpsons (as himself). He has a huge social media following and his appearances at literary festivals and events bring sell-out crowds. 

Chris Riddell’s illustrations are incredibly bright and bold, with expressive characters and plenty of fine details for the reader to discover. A more diverse crew has never been assembled in a picture book! Chris has won the Kate Greenaway Medal three times, amongst other international awards, and he has had a long-running partnership with Neil Gaiman, producing quality picture books that have proven to delight and surprise readers of all ages. 

These two literary heavyweights have delivered a spectacular hardcover picture book with a dust cover and piratical end papers, filled with colourful characters and memorable rhymes. Children from 3+ will enjoy this book, but so will independent readers who like wordplay, imaginative stories, and magical illustrations. And really, let’s be honest, who doesn’t love a good pirate adventure, read aloud with accents and silly voices? This joyous romp among the high seas makes a perfect gift and will be a treasured collectible. 

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Publisher details

Pirate Stew
Neil Gaiman
Children’s Fiction
01 October, 2020


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 one boy and his sister – 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, doughnut 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.
Neil Gaiman
About the author

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is the creator of The Sandman comic book series and the bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere (1995), Stardust (1999), the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American Gods (2001), Coraline (2002), Anansi Boys (2005), The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013), Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett, 1990) and a retelling of the Norse myths: Norse Mythology (2017). His short story collections include Smoke and Mirrors (1998) and Fragile Things (2006). His screenwriting credits include the original BBC TV series of Neverwhere (1996), Dave McKean’s first feature film, Mirrormask (2005), two Doctor Who episodes, and Good Omens (2019).

Books by Neil Gaiman


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