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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Captain No Beard Series Review & Treasure Pouch Craft

Disclosure: I was sent the set of books with some hats, crafts and play doubloons and will receive a small compensation for writing this honest review. All opinions are my own. As always I am providing links for your convenience. I do not receive compensation if you purchase through them.

Today I have the pleasure of sharing a series of books with you. I will admit when I first was approached about these books, I was not completely sure they were our cup of tea, but I decided to try them anyway because I figured they might be one your child's things. After all Hazel is really not into pirates except Jake and the Neverland Pirates. However I was very pleasantly surprised by these books. Hazel and I LOVE them!! We were sent all nine Captain No Beard books by Carole P. Roman.


http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_n_1?fst=as%3Aoff&rh=n%3A2967%2Ck%3Acarole+p+roman&keywords=carole+p+roman&ie=UTF8&qid=1440353946&rnid=2941120011

These adorable books are about cousins, Alexander and Hallie, who play together. They use stuffed animals as their crew and Alexander's bed as their pirate ship. Alexander becomes Captain No Beard and Hallie is his first mate. In each book there is some sort of life lesson including sharing, having younger siblings, everyone is important, be kind, etc. Hazel can tell me which book had which part in it and she talks about them all the time. She also has taken over the books and reads them to herself often. 


These books are fun and colorful and we both awed at the imagination of the characters. The first book is Captain No Beard. In this book the reader meets the main characters and discovers the secret that the Flying Dragon is Alexander's bed. In the second book, Pepper Parrot's Problem with Patience, a lesson is taught about learning the left from the right and patience and understanding when one friend does not know something important.  The third book is Stuck in the Doldrums and it teaches a lesson on sharing and that even if a friend was mean that if the friend needs help it is important to help him/her and then talk about the mean behavior. In Stranger on the High Seas Captain No Beard is a bit annoyed that they have been stuck watching his baby sister, Kayla, but in the end she (and her smelly diaper) save the day. In The Treasure of Snake Island, the crew is on a treasure hunt and find one of the greatest treasures of all--books! In the sixth book, The Crew Goes Coconuts, there are lessons on teasing and finding each friend's talent. In Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis, Captain No Beard learns the important lesson of not stealing and doing the right thing. In Fribbet the Frog and the Tadpoles, the lesson is about accepting younger siblings even if they can be a pain and that it helps to share your problem with your friends so they can help you through it. The last book, A Flag for the Flying Dragon, is about accepting a new member of the crew (Hallie's younger brother). These books teach such valuable lessons in a fun and clear way. We love them!!


As we read the books Hazel often told me she wishes she had a cousin closer in age and distance so she could play like this with him. She also said her favorite character is Hallie because she seems to solve many of the problems, plus she is a girl. I love that the books are fun and not scary. They show kids using their imaginations in a powerful way. I also love that each ends with the kids being back in Alexander's bedroom, so the reader knows it was all pretend. 


With the books we also received a fun activity book of puzzles, mazes, and such, two pirates hats, two treasure chest frame craft kits and some plastic gold doubloons. We modeled the hats for you.


Then we put together the treasure chest frames. Now I need to print out some pictures to put in them.


Enter to win a complete autographed set of the Captain No Beard series, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman; plus the PLAYMOBIL Red Serpent Pirate Ship. Enter to win here »
Giveaway begins September 1, 2015, at 12:01 A.M. PST and ends September 30, 2015, at 11:59 P.M. PST.

Treasure Pouch Tutorial

I also made a simple treasure pouch for Hazel to keep her gold doubloons and other treasures. She always has lots of different treasures! I let her pick a fat quarter at Joann Fabrics the other day for it, but really and scrap of fabric will do. I cut a piece that was around 6.5 inches by 17 inches and this made a pretty big pouch.


 Since we are using cotton, I zig zagged the rough edges. Then I folded over the edges of the long sides near the short sides twice to make a very small hem. I did this on all four corners and stitched it.
 Next I folded the short ends over about a quarter of an inch and then about half an inch more and pressed with iron.



Then I stitched close to the bottom fold or furthest from the edge.  I did this on both short ends.


Next I folded the pouch in half with the two stitched ends on the top and right sides together. Then I stitched the sides but did not stitch where the folded ends meet.



 Once both sides were stitched I turned it right side out and pressed it. Then I cut a piece of satin cord. I cut mine pretty long so it could go through both sides and still give Hazel a bit of a handle. You will also need a safety pin to put it through. If you chose something that unravels on the ends like I did, melt the ends with a match or candle for a second. This also works on ribbons. It will stop the raveling. 

 Stick the safety pin through your cord at one end. Then feed the safety pin through the fabric sleeve/tunnel we made in the beginning. It will pop out one end.


Then continue feeding it through on the other side. Both ends should end up together. I strung a large wooden bead on the pieces to make opening and closing it easier and tied a knot where the bead will sit when it is completely open. Then I tied another knot at the end so Hazel can put it on her wrist.


Now Hazel has a place to keep all of her pirate treasures. I can definitely see her playing Captain No Beard. She searched for her pink pirate hat that I made her a couple of years ago after we finished all the books and talked about the bandanna that Hallie wears and what she could use as one.  I also see us reading these books for a long time. I have already recommended them to our children's librarian and a friend because they are that good (and Hazel will not part with ours). These books are about old fashion play using ones imagination and I know that is something I want Hazel to be able to do!


For more pirate ideas check out:
 And check out the other blog posts on the tour!

Tuesday September 1 2015: The Children's Book Review
Captain No Beard Series Giveaway
Thursday September 3 2015: Swiss Cheese Adventures
Author Interview with Carole P. Roman
Sunday September 6 2015: The Adventures of Supermom
Author Interview with Carole P. Roman
Wednesday September 9 2015: The Review Wire
Captain No Beard Book Review
Wednesday September 9 2015: Crafty Moms Share
Captain No Beard Book Review
Friday September 11 2015: Inspired by Savannah
Author Interview with Carole P. Roman
Friday September 15 2015: Just Another Mom
Author Interview with Carole P. Roman
Sunday September 17 2015: It's Fundamental
Pirate Books Galore: What Makes Captain No Beard Stand Out?
Thursday September 24 2015: Boy Mama Teacher Mama
Captain No Beard Book Review
Monday September 28 2015: Avery and Augustine
Author Interview with Carole P. Roman