Series Summary: A young boy named Alexander, his cousin Hallie, and three stuffed animals board his bed and their world is transformed! Set sail with Captain No Beard! (Summary from Captain No-Beard's Facebook page, images from goodreads.com. I was provided with the series in exchange for my honest review.)
Being a captain is hard. Sometimes, using your imagination isn't as easy as you want it to be, especially when not everyone sees eye to eye. But Alexander - I mean, Captain No Beard is up to the challenge! He and his faithful crew set sail and bump into a mermaid in this first adventure.
Part of the reason I'm so happy to have the Captain No Beard series in my home is the relationships my kids are able to form with the characters. All kids lose their tempers. All kids struggle with learning something, whether it be their directions, reading, sharing, or ownership.
I've found that my kids tend to learn ideals better when they're hearing them in parable form - apparently, lecturing until I'm blue in the face doesn't work. Captain No Beard's series has given us opportunities to talk about how to share, how to play with others, how not to be a bossy-pants, all in ways that my kids are more willing to learn from.
The stories are easy enough that my first grader (who isn't the most confident reader ... but only because she's comparing herself to my oldest who is frighteningly good) can read them happily, but fun enough for me to be willing to curl up with my youngest and read them with him repeatedly.
One of the things I've come to expect from Ms. Roman's books (if you haven't noticed, we review her fairly frequently on the blog) is the ability to take a simple, predictable, straightforward story and present it in such a way to pique curiosity and encourage conversation. Anyone could plunk out a story, but not everyone has the ability to write a story in such a way to invite discussion. And if you've ever tried to have a discussion with a three year old, you know what I'm talking about!
Every single story we've read from Captain No Beard has rung true. My kids have all been able to relate to the conflict, and have been able to come away a little bit better prepared for the next time such a conflict arises. They have been a happy edition to our shelves.