IROQUOIS – A pirate landed in Iroquois on Saturday morning, March 4. However, he turned out to be a very friendly little pirate, and he was more than happy to share his adventures with children who came to the Iroquois Public Library to hear his story.
Author James MacIntyre (in full pirate regalia, pictured above) was a special guest at the library, there to read his story, ‘Bo, the Far Too Polite Pirate,’ to eager young listeners. There were even pirate pictures to colour. It was a fun experience for all.
MacIntyre, who retired five years ago from his career as an elementary teacher, got into writing in an unexpected way. “There I was, newly retired, just as COVID struck and everyone, including me, went into isolation. So in 2020, I joined the North Grenville Writers, almost for something to do. And then,” he laughed, “I decided to submit the manuscript for a story I had been putting together to Molly O’Connor, a published children’s writer. I still remember what she said to me: “I’ll read it, but I’m ruthless.” The good news was that she actually liked the story, and her encouragement has convinced me to keep writing.”
‘Bo, the Far Too Polite Pirate’ was born in January 2022. Bo was raised a pirate, the child of a pirate family, who was expected to do all the usual pirate things. And he does enjoy the tall tales and the rollicking pirate songs. It’s just that he is proving to be very unsuccessful at being a pirate himself. In fact, in the course of the story, Bo comes to the understanding that in reality, he does not even want to be a traditional pirate. He rebels, and eventually begins to share with others that it is “okay to be nice and to help people.”
MacIntyre got the idea for the character of Bo partly from his years as a teacher, seeing how kids relate to their world. He was also inspired by his grandson, Bo. “Before COVID, Bo and I used to play swords, and one day he hit me hard, and I yelled, and then I got thinking about a little boy, raised to be a pirate, who decides he really doesn’t want to be one.”
James MacIntyre often reads his stories in area schools, where kids definitely relate to Bo. “Kindergarten children especially seem to take to Bo. They ask me all kinds of questions. Kids actually seem to love pirates,” he laughed. “I really enjoy meeting with the children and I often hear some fascinating, interesting comments.”
Bo’s adventures are going to continue. ‘Bo Meets Captain Lucy Blue and the Bully’ was published in November, 2022. Other stories in the series will see Bo involved in helping the environment. And there will be lots of laughs as Bo begins to search for the perfect pirate pet – one that will fit on a pirate ship.
‘Bo, the Far Too Polite Pirate,’ definitely has exciting seas ahead.