We were sent a copy of the book Captain McGrew Wants YOU for his Crew! for the purposes of this review. We found it to be perfect in language and tone for our 4 year old, and the illustrations are brilliant. A lovely book; one I can recommend if you are looking to buy a gift for a 4-6 year old.
You know how YouTube is full of unboxing videos, and children opening packets of things for the first time? They’re pretty popular, and a really nice way to consider whether or not a toy you’re considering buying might go down with its recipient. We took part in the Baby Steps reading programme when the boys were younger, and I’ve got these fabulous little keepsake videos of me reading a story to them. Well, I really wish I had recorded the first time I read this book to James. His reaction to the book was so lovely, I wish I could look back on it in the future.
The book is written in a series of questions, enquiring as to the reader/audience’s suitability for a space in Captain McGrew’s crew. Are you strong? Are you a good cook? Can you do this without complaining? Can you do this without help? And James answered each one, very honestly, and very excitedly. (These aren’t the actual questions, by the way. The real questions are written very well, and rhyme beautifully).
When there was an occasional question he had to answer with a negative, he seemed quite sad, in case his place in the pirate’s crew might be in doubt because he isn’t good at cooking yet. Or, rather hilariously, as he said that he does have to sleep sometimes. “Just sometimes, I do need a little sleep; do you think that would be ok?”
We have enjoyed this book. It is an entertaining read, and the illustrations are bold and interesting. There are little things to spot and talk about, such as the piece of octopus tentacle in Captain McGrew’s beard, or why they need to scrub the barnacles off the hull of the ship.
This book will be best suited for children aged 3-6 or 7 I would think, though older children may well enjoy it too.