Review: You're Not a Proper Pirate, Sidney Green!

BooksforTopics Reading for Pleasure Recommendations


Book Title: You’re Not A Proper Pirate, Sidney Green! (Available here)

Author: Ruth Quayle

Illustrator: Deborah Allwright

Publisher: Nosy Crow

Publication Date: January 2019

Most Suitable For: KS1

Reviewed By: Jo Littlewood (@miss_lw_reads), Year 1 Teacher


What child doesn’t dream of being a pirate? Or winning a race, or going exploring? Sidney Green dreams of all of these things and one day he receives a message in a bottle from Captain Shipshape ordering him to become a proper pirate…immediately!


But first he has some very important things to do and he’ll "be there in a minute". As Captain Shipshape becomes more impatient, he sends others ahead of him to order Sidney Green to join him on his ship. Will Sidney eventually make it to the pirate ship? And will he ever become a proper pirate?

This story is great for introducing a topic on pirates to young children with a number of characters synonymous with life on a pirate ship being introduced throughout the tale.


With bright pictures and repeated phrases, this is a brilliant book to get children involved in the storytelling. There are opportunities for prediction and encouraging children to use their imagination to suggest what will happen next.

Teachers could use this book in the classroom in a number of ways. Children could be invited to continue the story, creating a new adventure for Sidney Green and his new friends to participate in. Maps could be created showing the places Sidney went on his wild adventures.

While reading, I particularly liked the way the text followed the paths Sidney took on his adventures and the way the pictures reflected the joy and excitement of the imaginative play being undertaken.


I’m sure most children would be hooked on this story, keen to learn whether Sidney Green ever follows the orders of the Captain, or continues to find other adventures along the way. As an adult, the story reminded me of the importance of imaginative play and the creativity this can foster.


Curriculum links: Literacy, art, drama.



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You can order You're Not a Proper Pirate, Sidney Green! online or from your local bookshop or library.



Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Jo for reviewing it.

Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, BooksForTopics earns from qualifying purchases.  Click here to learn more. 

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