Nobody likes getting shots, not even the infamous monkey pirate, Modi. When he visits the doctor with his mom and hears that he has to get his scurvy immunization the next day, he is a little worried. Luckily for him, his pirate monkey dad has a secret map that guides him through many terrible dangers to the home of the crab wizard, keeper of a magical talisman that will help Modi with his shot. With the aid of this gift (and the promise of ice cream if he sits very still for the doctor), the shot is over in no time, and our brave monkey pirate Modi is safe from scurvy (and a few other things). Modi’s adventure teaches children to find the brave monkey pirate inside of themselves, and to remember that even things that seem a little scary will be over in no time if we sit still, close our eyes, and count to three. And hopefully we’ll all get some ice cream on the way home.
I found The Brave Monkey Pirate on the website Children’s Storybooks Online, which, as it states, has illustrated children’s stories for kids of all ages. There are not gazillions of books on this website, but all the ones I have read are good quality, both the writing and the illustrations. If you have a choice between volume and quality, it’s pretty much a no-brainer which one you should choose. It is absolutely free to read the books on this site, and you don’t have a sign up for an account or access it through a subscriber like your public library, which some other sites require. There are lots of annoying advertisements flashing constantly in the margins of the page, which, of course, is how the site can afford to stay in operation without charging for the books, and they don’t bother me too much. If I can ignore the ads on Facebook, I can ignore them on this site. The one thing I wish I could change about this site is the fact that you can’t view the books in full screen, which makes it tough when you’re reading to multiple children and they’re all trying to see at once. That’s my one complaint, though.
As for the book itself, my kids really enjoyed it. Hayes Roberts has a few books up on this site, and they all have bizarre-looking monkeys in them, and they all have some kind of lesson couched in a silly and fantastical story. I picked this one because I like the juxtaposition of something boring and pedestrian (like getting a shot at the doctor) with something silly and magical like a pirate monkey journeying to get a talisman from a crab wizard. This tendency- pairing the common with the fantastic- is woven through the language, story, and illustrations of all of the Hayes Roberts stories we read. It is charming and adorable. And though I may have nightmares about the big buggish eyes he puts on all his characters, my kids didn’t seem to mind, and we will all enjoy his stories again and again.
To read The Brave Monkey Pirate and other free illustrated stories, visit Children’s Storybooks Online.