Off to Be Pirates: An Owl Story – Kellen Roggenbuck

Off to be Pirates - Kellen Roggenbuck
Off To Be Pirates!: An Owl Story by Kellen Roggenbuck
Also by this author: The Awkward Dinosaurs, Hard-Working Mermaids
Published by KR Publishing on September 7, 2020
Genres: Children's
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Archie is a tiny owl with big dreams - to be a pirate! Join him as he travels the forest on a misguided adventure involving friends, danger, lots of walking and several spooky sticks.
This book is a colorful, fun exploration into thinking through decisions before making them and being satisfied with who you are. It's great for early readers and young children.

While most of Kellen Roggenbuck’s books tend to be list-type books, Off to Be Pirates! is a break from that into traditional narrative storytelling that retains his signature sardonic wit and is perhaps my (and my children’s!) favorite of his stories. The story begins with Archie, a not-normal owl who is sitting on the ground. He dreams of being a pirate, and so decides that since pirates must be brave, he should explore the forest. (This, of course, would not help Archie become a pirate, but he didn’t often think things through, writes Roggenbuck.)

The adventure that ensues is more than a bit absurd and it’s self-aware enough to know that. Its entire purpose is to be silly and unusual and what’s with all these owls standing on the ground? In the end, Archie discovers that while he might never be a pirate, his owl-like skills have helped him on his journey and that being an owl (even an odd one) isn’t so bad after all.

As always, Roggenbuck’s illustrations delight. They’re simple, but colorful and he does well conveying the emotions of his characters. The silliness of owls that stay on the ground, walk sideways up trees, and want to be pirates all factor into making a hilarious story that’s sure to be attention-grabbing. Given that the book’s subtitle is An Owl Story, does that mean we’ll get more adventures? I hope so.