Quentin’s Problem: Misty Baker
Imagine having to pass the Pirate Test and not being able to say: Arrr! Imagine standing in front of your entire class and the Captain not being able to shout out this simple sound! What do you do? Passing swashbuckling and finding buried treasure was no problem for Quentin. Wearing the eye patch, the peg leg and even swinging from ship to ship was not big deal for Quentin. But, what is he going to do when he can’t say “Arrr!” louder than anyone else? You see, Quentin had a secret and he does not want to share it with anyone! Quentin cannot say the Letter R instead Arrr comes out as “Awww.” What’s a young pirate to do and what will happen when Captain Crook finds out? Well, failing Piratish, the ancient language of pirates would the Piratish test was just the tip of the cold plank he might get stuck walking if he does not devise a plan. So, being smart, inventive and definitely walking up the next morning all decked out in his pirate uniform and ready to pas the test poor Quentin had to think fast. What is his solution? Well, since Q is one of his favorite letters and Quentin the Quick is a good and might name why can’t he shout that out instead? Poor Quentin! The captain was not happy with his solution or his idea and you guessed it poor Quentin was told to walk the plank just like many before him and would after!
As Quentin stepped up on the plank he saw the sharks and all of the dangers below and he had to make a decision. Tell the Captain the truth or continue walking the plank! What will happen if is honest with the Captain and tells him why he can’t say R and he tells the truth?
Finding the courage to stand tall and explain in front of everyone what his problem was what Quentin decided to do. Hearing his father’s voice telling him that the truth is the only way to handle things even if others disagree is what he finally realized was the right way to handle his problem. Just how everyone reacts and what they admit you will have to learn and read for yourself. With the amazing and colorful illustrations that show Quentin’s emotions, the fear in his eyes when he faces walking the plank and the courage he musters to tell the truth, is brought to life in the vividly depicted illustrations.
This is a great story for all children and even adults to learn that everyone has difficulties and how we handle them sets us apart from others. Giving up and hiding the truth is not always the answer and having the courage to face your fears, understand your limitations and embrace your strengths is how we grow. Quentin learns a lot from the Captain, his friends and the others aboard this pirate ship when he realizing that he’s not the only one who has difficulties and sometimes it takes just one person to help others too. Each character has his/her own problems and this would make for a great series of children’s books teaching many lessons that young children need to learn starting with understanding differences, embracing our strengths and working on our weaknesses as well as not making fun of others when they have a problem. Children can be mean and this book teaches how one young boy names Quentin decided to admit the truth and just maybe he might not have to finish walking the plank. So, does he ever learn how to say R in words? You have to find out for yourself when you read this outstanding book which deserves FIVE GOLDEN ARRR’s.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer