I'm Going to be a Pirate! is an original storybook about two sisters. Little Lily describes in detail her plans for a pirate adventure ... but her big sister Amanda is not impressed. Amanda says things like, "You can't be a pirate, you get seasick," trying to ruin her little sister's fun. The ever-exuberant Lily responds to each of Amanda's complaints with irrepressible optimism & creativity.
For instance, when Amanda says Lily can't be a pirate because she doesn't like to eat fish, Lily adds that she'll just bring their mom along to make sandwiches. Page by page, the two girls weave a detailed world of pirate pretend play. And in the end Amanda stops complaining, asking if she can be a pirate too. The magnanimous Lily responds that Amanda can be her 'big pirate sister'.
This sweet digital storybook has a few settings, but they are easy to miss. In fact, I thought the app had no sound at all, at first. All the controls are located in the device's settings, a nice touch that keeps children from changing things accidentally. From this menu you can even record narration, as well as turn on background music.
[Note About Recording: This was one of the easiest apps I've found for recording your own narration. The set up is intuitive and I easily recorded the whole book in just a few minutes. Set the app to 'record your own' for 'narration mode', then open the app and you'll see simple buttons for record, stop & play on each page. After recording every page, close the app and return to the settings to change the narration mode to 'recorded'. The audio quality is good, although without a microphone it does pick up background noise.]
Overall this is a cute story that makes a great bedtime read. It is also notable for being very easy to personalize with a loved one's voice-over. I'm Going to be a Pirate! is above all good storytelling, with a tale that siblings (and parents of siblings) will appreciate. As an app, this book doesn't do a lot to take advantage of the iPad's capabilities, but it does do a great job of bringing an appealing, original picture book to lots of new readers.
All reviews are of the app, not the platform/device. Based originally on iPad versions. Minor technical details may vary.
Two Big Dads Ltd
2 - 4 Minutes
Based on non-digital book: No
Allows Own Narration:
Uses Motion: No
Age: 3 - 8
Little sister Lily is pretending she is going to be a pirate. She tells her sister about her planned adventures, one by one. "You can't be a pirate!" says her big sister Amanda, adding a reason that each of Lily's plans is 'all wrong'. She pessimistically predicts that little Lily can't be a pirate because she likes to brush her teeth and 'pirates don't brush their teeth.'
To each of these retorts, Lily simply finds a way to incorporate each of Amanda's complaints into her pirate fantasy. She says she will be a pirate that has a 'fearsome smile' (making a toothbrush hand in place of the usual 'hook' for a pirate's hand). Amanda says she can't be a pirate because she'll get seasick, is scared of monsters, and doesn't like to eat fish but Lily has an answer for everything.
Soon Lily has described a very fun sounding adventure that includes having their mom make sandwiches and tuck the little pirates into bed each night with (almost) scary stories. Not wanting to be left out ... Amanda finally says, "Can I be a pirate, too?" Little Lily responds, "Of course! You are my big pirate sister!"