Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Jack Plank Tells Tales by Natalie Babbitt

Gardening season has finally begun here in Illinois. For me that means that audiobook season has also begun, as I often listen to a good book while weeding and dead-heading outdoors. On Saturday while trimming rose bushes and trying to keep getting terribly scratched, I listened to a jolly pirate's tale, called Jack Plank Tells Tales by Natalie Babbitt.

Jack Plank was rather a washout as a pirate for he did not really like the noise and danger of attacking other ships. He preferred watching the seagulls, feeling the sea breeze, and peeling a few potatoes for soup. His shipmates on the Avarice kept him on for years because he was pleasant to have around, but in hard times when booty was scarce, they put him ashore at a port called Saltwash, now in Jamaica. The innkeeper Mrs. DelFresno told him that he could stay for one gold sovereign per day, provided he behaved himself and got a job within a week.

Every day Jack joined the residents of the inn for dinner to say that he did not find a job that day. For reasons he explained in stories, he could not be a farmer, baker, fisherman, or take any of the other recommend jobs. His stories involving sad trolls, beautiful mermaids, gullible ghosts, and other fantastic creatures kept his dinner companions entertained.

Jack Plank Tells Tales read by John H. Mayer is fun listening for young and old.

Babbitt, Natalie. Jack Plank Tells Tales. Listening Library, 2008. 2 compact discs. ISBN 9780739364086

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