Quantcast

Polly and the Pirates Volume 2: Mystery of the Dragonfish

Polly and the Pirates Vol. 2: Mystery of the DragonfishPolly and the Pirates Vol. 2: Mystery of the Dragonfish
By: Ted Naifeh and Robbi Rodriguez
Publisher: Oni Press
Format: Softcover, 5 x 7.5, Black and White, $11.99
ISBN: 978-1-934964-73-6

My all-time favorite four year old is convinced that he is in fact a pirate! And I wouldn’t doubt it if Captain Cody did indeed lead a secret pirate life. He's pretty convincing in our "make-believe" sword battles.  

Not too many people believe that Polly Pringle is capable of being a pirate captain, however. That is, until she dashes off on her second pirate adventure in Polly and the Pirates, Volume Two: Mystery of the Dragonfish. Dreaming of a more adventurous, swash-buckling future, Polly has more in mind for her future than Mistress Lovejoy's School for Proper Young Ladies can offer. Reuniting with her pirate crew, Polly's mysterious pirate adventure finds her necessitating an escape from her comfortable – yet boring! – boarding school. A foreign power threatens to disrupt the gentle political balance not only in Europe, but also in the Americas, and Polly knows that she alone can save the day.  

As if one was better than the other, this graphic novel offers you and your students an opportunity to read a high seas adventure-mystery in graphic novel format.  

English Language Arts Elements of Story

Plot: Attending Miss Lovejoy's School for Proper Young Ladies, Polly Pringle just doesn't fit the mold. She's not exactly what Miss Lovejoy or her hopeful stepmother-to-be see as an ideal, docile, and submissive future wife. No, that's not Polly at all. Dreaming of more and literally breaking out of school to live out her dreams, Polly Pringle leads a secret double life. Polly Pringle is the Pirate Queen. Ironically revered at Miss Lovejoy's School for Proper Young Ladies, and despite her obviously not-so-ladylike choices, the Pirate Queen is admired by the students. But little do they know, the one they admire is also the one they see as a lost ladylike cause.  

Settings: Europe, Home of Emperor Norton, the high seas, Miss Lovejoy's School for Proper Young Ladies, Eureka Street Boarding House, City Hall, Home of Professor Swoon, The Queen Meg, St. Helvetia Circus, St. Helvetia Sewer, The Polly Ann ship, Emperor Norton’s Jail Cell, Snedacker and Worms Offices, the Vervenvanian Embassy, Barbary Bay and the Titania, the Farrallon Island

Major Characters: Polly Pringle, Miss Lovejoy, Miss Van Vervandander, Emperor Norton, Mr. Shoe/Hsu, Inspector Barbier, the Mayor, Prosper, Professor Swoon, Seamus McGillicuddy, the Pirate Queen, Scrimshaw, Fidget, the Sewer Brothers (Kutner and Persh), Queen Meg Malloy, Miss Vimmenvigger, Snedacker and Worms Attorneysm Bertram Snodgrass, Mr. Schproket, Governor McAllister, Mr. Naff, King Rolf, Archibald Pringle

Themes: Identity, Leadership, Loyalty, Politics, Duty and Honor, Coming of Age

Traditional Literature Pairing Suggestions: Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift, The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan, The Awakening by Kate Chopin, The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi, Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Some Teaching Recommendations For Middle School & High School Readers

Suggested Alignment to the IRA /NCTE Standard(s):*
- standard #s correspond to the numbers used by IRA/NCTE

1. Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works.  

2. Students read a wide range of literature from many periods in many genres to build an understanding of the many dimensions (e.g., philosophical, ethical, aesthetic) of human experience.

3. Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate and appreciate texts.

Suggested Lesson Plan for Middle School and/or High School Teachers and Librarians

One of the more challenging aspects of reading Polly and the Pirates Volume Two is following the vast array of characters as they move in and out of a plethora of settings. Thus, for this lesson plan I would like to offer teachers a graphic organizer that links settings to characters and overall plot purposes (see Figure 1 below).

Directions: Ask students to pay particular attention to each setting outlined in the story (which is usually indicated by a rectangular word balloon).  As they come to each setting, sometimes multiple times throughout the story, ask students to note the key characters that appear in this setting (column two) and, also, the purpose of each of these characters in said setting (column three).

 

Setting

 
Major Characters Appearing in this Setting

What are each of these major characters doing in this particular setting?  What is their purpose?

 

 

 

Home of Emperor Norton

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

Miss Lovejoy's School for Proper Young Ladies

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

Eureka Street Boarding House

 

1.

 

2. 

 

3. 

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

City Hall

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

 

Home of Professor Swoon

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

The Queen Meg

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

St. Helvetia Circus

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

St. Helvetia Sewer

 

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

The Polly Ann Ship

 

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

Emperor Norton's Jail Cell

 

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 


Snedacker and Worm Offices

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

The Vervenvanian Embassy

 

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

Barbary Bay and the Titania

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

 

 

The Farrallon Island

 

 

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

1.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

 

 

Katie Monnin, PhD, is an assistant professor of literacy at the University of North Florida and author of Teaching Graphic Novels: Practical Strategies for the Secondary ELA Classroom (2010) from Maupin House. To learn more about Teaching Graphic Novels or Katie Monnin, please go to this link: http://www.maupinhouse.com/monnin.php.