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Friday, July 1, 2016

Being a Captain is Hard Work

Captain No Beard is back, and he's ready for a new adventure! This time he is a hard-headed young man who refuses to listen to his crew when the suggest making a better decision. This is Carole Roman's Being a Captain is Hard Work.

It's a regular day on the ship when the Captain yells to the team that it's full steam ahead. Crew members look up and tell the Captain that it looks like rain, but Captain No Beard is convinced that clouds don't mean rain, and no matter how many friends tell him, he refuses to listen. The ship ends up in a horrible storm, and everyone is put in danger. They survive by the skin of their teeth. Captain No Beard tries to explain his reasons, but the crew isn't having it. Hallie reminds the Captain that you have two ears and one mouth for a reason. Captain No Beard learns a very valuable lesson on this day -- that sometimes you have to work as a team to make the best decisions for everyone.

This book has stepped a little out of the mold for the Captain No Beard series. First of all, it's a little bit longer, which means more pictures (no complaints here!), and it comes across as a bit more serious than the rest of the series. I think all of these things are on the "plus" side of things. I love that this book is a little bit more mature and forces kids to think a bit more critically about why Captain made a bad decision, and to take a good look at the serious impact his decision had on his friends. A big part of being a leader is knowing when it's time to step back and let others lead, and along with that is the need to know when to listen to others and put your ego aside. Captain had a hard time doing that in this story, and it almost cost him his friendships. It's a great lesson to learn at a young age, and I'm impressed at this book and the direction it's moving in. I love that it's very much a small children's book, but it's teaching a very important lesson very early and on a level that young kids can understand. A lovely addition to the cannon!

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