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Small Saul Hardcover – March 1, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

... delightful book. --Globe and Mail

... Spires' piratical misfit fulfills his potential in a way that is genuinely endearing and hilarious. --Quill and Quire

About the Author

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

Ashley Spires grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the supposed stomping grounds of Bigfoot. She is the author and illustrator of a number of books for children, including Small Saul and the Adventures of Binky the Space Cat. She was the recipient of the 2011 Silver Birch Express Award and the 2011 Hackmatack Award for Binky the Space Cat and was shortlisted for a Joe Shuster Comics for Kids Award and an Eisner Award for Binky Under Pressure. Ashley currently lives in British Columbia.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Lexile Measure: 680L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Kids Can Press (March 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554535034
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554535033
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.2 x 10.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #141,255 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Most picture books that aren't just pure silliness often end up imparting some sort of moral lesson to the readers (and/or their parents). This one seems to be that encouragement to "follow your dreams", with a side of "we're all different and that's okay."

Saul has had a love of the sea since he was a little one, so when he's old enough, he tries to join the navy, but he's too small. Even though he doesn't fit the image of a pirate, they aren't as picky, so he attends pirate school. He does well in some classes like Intro to Swabbing the Deck, but not so well in Looking or Treasure Map Interpretation. Nonetheless, he manages to pass, earning the coveted diploma which reads, "You ARRR a Pirate."

But just because he's earned the title of pirate, doesn't mean he's earned the respect of his fellow pirates. They end up throwing him overboard (which is just something pirates do, after all), but once he's gone they miss his contributions and go back to get him.

The illustrations add to the text in this story (such as the diploma referenced above) which encouraged my son and I to slow down and look closely to find the fun details and little jokes.
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Format: Hardcover
We just read this book in my pirate-obsessed preschool classroom, and it was a hit with teachers and kids alike. Small Saul is a kind, helpful soul who proves his worth on a pirate ship by going against the ruffian-esque status quo. Because, really--even the roughest of characters sometime need someone to give them a lollipop and a Band-aid when things get hairy! And Small Saul is just the guy to provide it.

The book is full of humor and the illustrations are fantastic. It also served as a great jumping-off point for a discussion with the kids about being kind and helpful, and also about staying true to yourself in the face of outside pressure. It will be in steady rotation in my classroom!
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Format: Hardcover
You can count on Ashley Spires to draw your attention to the little jokes she embeds in her illustrations, making her stories both fun and funny. Small Saul shows that one-of-a-kind is just fine and there's a place in this world for all of us--without being mushy or syrupy at all. Arrrrr! You'll have fun plundering this book for all its humor. - Biblio Reads Children's Book Review
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Format: Hardcover
When you think of pirates, you think of fresh breath, a squeaky clean ship and lavender bunny tattoos, right? Yeah, me too. And yet the other pirates are completely dismissive of Small Saul - they feel he just doesn't fit in. Or could he?

More than anything, Small Saul loves the sea. After failing to meet the Navy's height requirement, SS turns to the only other profession he can think of that would allow him to spend his day on the open water: piracy. Because rough and tough does not come naturally to him, Saul struggles at Pirate College. His growl sounds more like a purr, he picks wildflowers while the others dig for treasure, and tidies when he should be looting.

Nevertheless, Saul squeaks through Pirate College and is lucky enough to nab a position aboard The Rusty Squid. Determined to fit in, Small Saul gets to work. I love the before and after of the sleeping quarters! He scrubs and straightens, adding pillows to the hammocks and tiny curtains over the windows in an attempt to make it more welcoming. The pirates are not impressed. Small Saul is cheerful and chipper, clean and comforting. He is pushed overboard.
Without Small Saul aboard, the ship starts to stink. Mold grows on the deck, foul odors are afoot, and the crew is back to eating bread and gruel. The good ole pirate life doesn't see as attractive as it used to. The crew may be dirty and smelly, but they aren't stupid. They quickly turn The Rusty Squid around and scoop up their most valuable shipmate. And Small Saul returns to pirating the only way he knows how: by cleaning, baking and straightening.

The entire concept and execution are fabulous. It's like Queer Eye for the Pirate Guy.
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