Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto

CaptainFlinnCaptain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto  Ages 2+. Margaret K. McElderry Books. September 2005. 25 pages.  ISBN: 978-1416907138 $16.99

Summary:  When Flinn goes back into the art supply closet at his school to get some supplies he finds a pirate, Captain Stubble, crying because someone has stolen his ship.  The boy and his friends help the pirate find his stolen ship.  Oh, and they battle pirate dinosaurs, too.  But they’re pretty nice about it.  So it’s fun and good and everyone ends up happy.  We Highly, Highly Recommend it! 

Our Experience:  I was in the library with my son perusing the cart of to-be-shelved books when this one stopped me.  Pirates?  Dinosaurs?  Pirates + Dinosaurs?  Okay, this book looks like it could be good.  And I was right!  (I love it when I’m right.)

First off, the illustrations are a lot of fun.  The ink and watercolor illustrations are done with bright, bold colors with lots of exaggerated lines.  A few of the illustrations and the cover have a person’s mouth wide open with a dangling uvula.  My son and I spent a while discussing what a palatine uvula is and then I got a flashlight and opened my mouth wide so he could see mine and then we tried to look in a mirror so he could see his uvula.  Anyway, it was a lot of fun and led to lots of giggling.  It was hilarious and educational and all because of this book.  Also, my 2.5 year old knows what a palatine uvula is — which is fun.

The characters in this book are all top notch.  The actual pirate dinosaurs aren’t exactly the most well-mannered or friendly dinosaurs, but they aren’t inappropriate.  I didn’t feel compelled to edit the book at all while reading it to my son.  Nor do I think he’s going to imitate these dinosaurs and so far after reading this book no less than 25 times (and probably closer to like 35 times) he hasn’t.  There’s one part where the pirate dinosaur says that he’s going to cut up Captain Flinn and BBQ him with, “much too much ketchup.”  I wasn’t so sure about saying that to my 2.5 year old — but it seems just fine.  He hasn’t threatened to cut me up, but he has been threatening to add much too much ketchup to things.  (Which I find pretty cute.)  If you’re not comfortable with it, it is easy to take out of the story.

I really liked the friends in this story.  They were supportive of their friend Flinn and wanted to go with him to help rescue Captain Stubble’s stolen ship.  Good friends are always a win for me when reading a story.  There’s also a part where Captain Stubble doesn’t want to be the captain of the ship they’re using to find his stolen ship — so he’s the cook instead and makes fish stew.  We’ve been having a lot of pretend play around fish stew since this book entered our house.

Also!  There’s a simple, fun song in the book that goes, “Yo Ho Ho! Yo Ho Ho! Somethingy Something! Go! Go! Go!”  Which is entirely too much fun to sing.  We sing it a lot these days.

In writing this review, I have learned that there are several other books in this series and I’m really looking forward to checking out and reading with my son.

I hope you get a chance to check out this book.  We love it so much and hope you do, too.

Where Obtained:  Public Library.  Random grab off the to-be-shelved cart.

FTC Disclosures: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the book, I will receive an affiliate commission.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Author/Illustrator Websites:  

Some of My Favorite Reviews of this Book:


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  1. This is a great review. I love Giles Andreae’s books but I haven’t read any of these. Coincidentally we have recommended Commotion in the Ocean by Giles Andreae on Story Snug today!

    I’m impressed that at two and a half your son knows the word palatine uvula!


  2. Sounds like a great book. I can’t wait to read it and share it with others. Thank you for contributing this post to this month’s Carnival of Children’s Literature.


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