I recently made a bookstore trip to check out some new books that haven’t made it to our local library yet. While the one book I wanted wasn’t there, I found a really fun, unexpected pick: Small Saul by Ashley Spires.
Saul wanted to be a sailor for as long as he can remember. When he finally comes of age and learns that he’s too small to be accepted into the Navy, he turns to another seafaring career—pirate. Saul enrolls in Pirate College and quickly learns that he’s not quite like the other pirates. He brings his own special skills that the other pirate students don’t find too impressive.
“He did well in navigation, but lacked focus in Looting: The Basics. He was born to sing sea shanties, not to hold a sword.”
After Saul gets his Pirate Diploma and joins the crew of The Rusty Squid, his differences become even more of a challenge. At one point ending him overboard!
Saul stays true to who he is throughout the story – even when he tries, in his own special way, to fit in. He is a wonderful example of the importance of being confident in ourselves and what we each have to offer the world. With so much talk about bullying going on with children of all ages, Saul’s story provides a good opportunity to ask your children about their experiences with other kids and reinforce all of the things that make them unique and special.
Small Saul is sweet and clever, with a great lesson for kids and some fun references for us parent readers. Spires’ colorful and detail-oriented illustrations are fun and a perfect complement to the story. The ones of Saul nurturing the gruff pirates with band aids and baked goods definitely made me smile.
Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires’ other books include Binky the Space Cat, Binky to the Rescue and Penguin and the Cupcake.
Great for boys and girls, ages 4 years and older.