Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: Smuggler’s Bay by Giles Andreae (illustrations by the gifted Russell Ayto) is probably my favourite of the Captain Flinn picture book series.
My son, who is six, repeatedly borrows this from our library, so I’m pretty conversant with the story.
The Captain Flinn books are really all you will ever need in your bookshelf if you have a particularly boyish boy on your hands, combining pirates and dinosaurs as they do. They are a sure fire hit with every child I’ve ever read them to, boy or girl.
Flinn is a regular school boy, but sometimes, during school time, he and his friends get transported from their lessons with Miss Pie their teacher, into a world where Flinn is the captain of a pirate ship, and does battle with the evil pirate dinosaurs.
In this book, Flinn and his friends are on a school trip to the beach, specifically ‘Smuggler’s Bay.’ Flinn and his friends follow some huge and suspicious looking footprints into a cave and stumble across the pirate dinosaurs secret smuggling operation.
The pirate dinosaurs are smuggling sausages, which they make themselves in a particularly Heath Robinsonesque sausage machine. Seeing that if they don’t act quickly their evil plans will be foiled, the Captain Tyrannosaurus Rex, kidnaps pirate Violet and attempts to make children chipolatas out of her.
It is up to Flinn to save his friends and rout the pirate dinosaurs.
These books are full of life and fun. There are lots of great details you can enjoy exploring in the illustrations that add depth and silliness to an already brilliantly funny story.
Perfect for children from ages 3 to 8 who enjoy a good funny story. It would make a wonderful addition to a KS1 topic on pirates, although the humour means it can probably be enjoyed further up the school as well as something the teacher could read to the children.