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The Picture Book Buzz

Potatoes for Pirate Pearl - Perfect Picture Book Friday #PPBF

Perfectly releasing on "Talk Like a Pirate Day," this is a fun adventure for all pirate and potato lovers. When a hunt for food leads to a potato farm, Pirate Pearl and her sidekick Petunia discover more treasure than they ever expected.

Book cover - femal pirate and her parrot examine a potato with their ship in the background.

Potatoes for Pirate Pearl

Author: Jennifer Concepcion

Illustrator: Chloe Burgett

Publisher: Feeding Minds Press (2023)

Ages: 4-8



Pirates, potatoes, farming, and friendship.


This pirate-packed and hilarious read-aloud is an entertaining way to introduce young readers to where their food comes from.

Join Pirate Pearl and her parrot Petunia as they learn how potatoes are planted, grown, and harvested in this hilarious debut picture book about food and friendship.

Pirate Pearl and her parrot Petunia are HUNGRY, and after they make the hardtack biscuits walk the plank, they go in search of a perfect provision for their next sea voyage. Where do they end up? On Farmer Fay's potato farm! Farmer Fay shows Pirate Pearl how potatoes grow on the farm and how potatoes can be cooked into many different delicious potato recipes.

Pirate Pearl and Petunia not only gain an understanding of farming but also a new friendship with Farmer Fay! Back matter is packed with potato facts, information on growing your own potatoes, and recipes.

Opening Lines:

"If these hardtack

biscuits don't

start tastin' better,

I'll make this

codswallop walk

the plank!"


"Right you are,



what could they eat?

Luckily. . .

What I OVED about this book:

What a fun introduction to Pirate Pearl and her squawky sidekick Petunia. At the end of their rations, the two head ashore and discover a large "X" marking treasure (the cross beams on a barn), just as their map showed. But what would be this treasure?

Internal spread - on left pirate & parrot slouched on ship deck disgusted with food. On right, tossing food into sea.

Text © Jennifer Concepcion, 2023. Image © Chloe Burgett, 2023.

When Farmer Fay discovers a bedraggled pirate and her "rainbow chicken" on her farm. she scoops them into a wheelbarrow and totes them to the kitchen to get "some grub." Loaded with alliteration and humor, kids will enjoy following Pirate Pearl's introduction to steamy potato soup (after Petunia survives the taste testing), her pirate solution to helping dig holes to plant seed potatoes, and her very piratey problem.

Along the way readers learn about the sprouting and the growth cycle of potatoes, their nutritional value (their vitamin C combats scurvy), greenhouses, ladybugs, and tractors. It's a wonderfully fun way to glimpse life on a farm, especially for city-bound kids.

Fay's little black chicken was a fun addition by Chloe Burgett, whose bright colorful illustrations are infused with tons of humor, great expressions, and fun antics. Note the chicken's skeptical behavior at Pirate Pearl's actions and look for its stare down with Petunia near the end.

Internal spread - priate using peg leg to make holes for planting potatoes. Chicken notices her stuffing potatoes into her pockets.

Text © Jennifer Concepcion, 2023. Image © Chloe Burgett, 2023.

I love the fun wordless spread, with Pearl, Petunia, and Fay fixin' up "these here potaters." Anyone for a game of hot potato? It also has a little twist. Even as Pearl discovers a pirate's boon in the potatoes, she finds the best treasure of all - a friend.

Internal spread - pirate, farmer, and parrot tearfully hugging.

Text © Jennifer Concepcion, 2023. Image © Chloe Burgett, 2023.

The ending is heartfelt and humorous. It's a great encapsulation of potato farming. As well as a fun pirate adventure and a touching tale of teamwork and friendship. An added treasure for readers comes with the recipes in the back of the book; soup, hardtack, and barrel of potatoes. This is a great book for anyone loving pirates, wanting to know a bit about growing potatoes, or looking for a rollicking good friendship tale.


Examples of three paper pirate hats.

- make and decorate your own pirate hat and eye patch.

- what's your favorite "potater" recipe?

- what was an important part of Pearl and Fay making friends? What does it mean to "beg your pardon"?

- what adventure would you send Pirate Pearl on next? Draw or write out your adventure.

If you missed the interview with Jennifer Concepcion on Monday, find it (here).

This post is part of a series by authors and KidLit bloggers called Perfect Picture Book Fridays. For more picture book suggestions and resources see Susanna Leonard Hill's Perfect Picture Books.


Maria Marshall

 Photograph © A. Marshall

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