Tough Boris

Some literature written for children is created just for fun, and some are created to help children learn how to read. Other childrens books, however, are written to help kids understand concepts that may be difficult for them, or for parents to explain. Author Mem Fox often writes about very relaxing things, such as sheep sleeping, and even green sheep. But there are some stories that she’s written that take on heavier things, including the tale of Boris. Boris is found in Tough Boris, and he’s a pirate. His full name is Boris Von Der Borch and he runs a gang of pirates. He’s a very greedy pirate, and he tends to go around and to get treasure and tons of loot. But he is surprised when, one

day, a little boy gets onto the ship and takes his violin back. He is going to punish him, but the little boy plays the violin so beautifully that our tough pirate spares him. But then something sad happens – his parrot dies. He is very sad and Fox explains that even pirates cry. His parrot is given a burial at sea in the violin case that the boy gives to him. This is a very unique tale for a few reasons. To begin with the words are very simple and even a beginning reader can read them easily. It is the illustrations by Kathryn Brown that truly tell the story in the tale of Tough Boris. One thing that is truly unique, however, is that Boris is not a hero, but rather a pirate who is greedy. And yet the children learn through the tale that everyone has feelings and that everyone gets sad sometimes, especially if something they love passes away, as Boris’s parrot does. This tale is one that may be a bit heavy for some children, but is a good lesson for others. It is a simple story to read and it gives adults the opportunity to explain to children about how it’s okay

to be sad if something or someone passes away. Tough Boris is one of those choices that can help to

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teach children life lessons.

Tough Boris


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