I’m very excited to announce the publication of my third book as author and illustrator, The Bossy Pirate. It’s about a boy named Salty Jack who pretends that his bedroom is a pirate ship. His friends help him tie ropes and sheets to serve as rigging and sails. Instantly they are sailing an actual pirate ship on the high seas. Jack barks out orders as the ship sails through waves and past breeching whales. Jack's older sister, a mermaid, swims up to say hello, but refuses to take orders. Jack's friends also grow weary of being ordered about, and decide to abandon ship. Jack is furious. He tries to continue the fantasy by himself, but discovers that playing alone is somehow not as much fun. The next day he invites his friends back and welcomes their creative input, and allows them to give orders, and even steer the ship! The resulting adventure is even grander than before. It includes a purple sea monster, a velociraptor, and a treasure hunt.
There are many great books that explore the theme of bullying. I wanted to write a story about someone who was not exactly a bully, but more of a control freak. Jack is the kind of a child whose imagination is infectious and he is able to sweep his friends along in his vision. I wanted to capture the feeling one gets when one is truly caught up in imaginative play; the sensation of being fully absorbed by the fantasy.
Jack is not willing to let anyone else contribute ideas. He’s not comfortable unless he’s in charge. I have never studied improvisation, but I have heard that one of the golden rules is to never say “no” to someone else’s idea, but always to say “yes… and”, meaning to accept someone else’s idea, and build on it, rather than dismissing it. In the end Jack discovers this golden rule of improvisational play and says “yes” to his friends’ ideas.
The Bossy Pirate is a 48 page picture book. I was thinking that it would be a “reader” when I was writing it, but a librarian friend informed me that there are too many “pirate words” in it for it to truly be considered a reader So, I would say its a picture book for 5-6 year olds, but I still think it would make a good reader for a second grader who is interested in learning some nautical terminology. (Scuttlebutt, Mizzenmast, Scallywag, etc). There is a glossary of pirate words on the back page.
Watch the Bossy Pirate book trailer
https://www.amazon.com/Bossy-Pirate-John-Steven-Gurney/dp/0764356259/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1543289876&sr=1-1&keywords=bossy+pirateWatch the Bossy Pirate book trailer