Jack Plank has left his pirate shipmates and gone ashore. Each day he sets out from Mrs. DelFresno's boarding house to look for a new job. Each evening he returns to regale the other boarders with the story of his job search plus a tall tale from his life as a pirate to explain why that particular job wouldn't be suitable. For who would want to work where there might be a troll, or the danger of getting a crab permanently caught in your beard? Or what about a treacherous, music-loving crocodile?
|Publisher:||Listening Library, Inc.|
|Age Range:||8 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Natalie Babbitt is the author and illustrator of sixteen books, among them Tuck Everlasting, The Search for Delicious, and Kneeknock Rise, a Newbery Honor Book. Five of her books have been named ALA Notable Children's Books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Jack Plank Tells Tales based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Jack Plank is not a very good pirate. Even though the other pirates like him, they can't afford to feed him when he doesn't do his share of plundering. They take him ashore to a small town where he takes a room in a boarding house and searches for a job.Each evening he returns to the boarding house, discouraged, because there is a reason why each job he considers is not the job for him. Jack finally does find his calling in a sweet and funny ending that will not surprise readers who have been paying attention.
It is entirely possible that this is a well-written, intelligent book for children. I really struggled to get through it. And I sense that kids wouldn't enjoy it much, either. It's the kind of book ostensibly written for kids, but more for adults.
Jack Plank is an unemployed pirate who needs a new job. He¿s just been downsized ¿ to use an anachronism for a tale set in 1720. It seems Jack was never too good at plundering; he was better at staying aboard and making soup. So, when the buccaneering business took a downturn, he was let go, and set ashore near the little port of Saltwash, Jamaica. There he takes a room at the widow DelFresco¿s rooming house. For the next eight days he looks for work, but comes back every evening with a different tale of why he is unable to work as a farmer, baker, fortune-teller, fisherman, barber, goldsmith, actor, or musician. And all of his tales relate, not to a lack of the necessary skills for any of these trades, but to his experiences in his former line of work. And while his stories are all improbable or puzzling they are also very interesting. In the end, he does what many underemployed citizens of seaport towns do ¿ he earns his living in the tourist trade. He becomes the resident storyteller, the attraction at the rooming house when Mrs. DelFresco serves tea.Who would have thought that pirate stories filled with trolls, mermaids, ghosts, feral children that shriek like seagulls and men that turn into octopi could be gentle and comforting tales? But by skillfully building her stories around the humans and their affections and interactions rather than their fears Babbitt has done so. She¿s also illustrated the stories with drawings that perfectly match her gentle tone.