Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – How Polly Became a Pirate (Polly’s Piralympics) (Volume 1) by Jann Weeratunga

Today I am featuring Jann Weeratunga and the first children’s book in the Polly’s Piralympics series – How Polly Became a Pirate.

About the book

Polly the Baby Parrot is stolen from her nest in Africa and ends up in Tobermoray, Scotland. There in a pet shop, she is bullied by village boys until rescued by Captain Hake. Then she starts her training to become a Pirate. This interactive book is a must for parents and teachers to help them identify if a child is being bullied at school or their surrounding environment, without the child feeling they are snitching. Join Polly and her LO (Life Orientation), adventures in the Polly’s Piralympics Series – where she will look at anti-bullying; cheating; disabilities – how it’s not cool to be cruel, disabled bays are for the disabled, plus it’s ok to be different e.g. wear glasses have braces etc.; don’t drop litter; global warming, droughts, tsunamis, polar melt; rhino and elephant poaching; animal trafficking; listening to adults/others and gender issues, how boys treat girls.

The most recent reviews for the book

This is a book that takes an unusual star and makes her as loved as rabbits, kittens, and dogs, in other stories. Polly is a parrot that has been stolen from her family in Africa and has been taken to Scottland. She does not find it easy living in the pet store. She is in fact treated quite horribly. She is a lovely parrot with a missing eye and saw bullying up close and personal. It was wonderful when Captain Hake rescued her and took her away from that environment. What was, even more, fun was that he provided her with training to become a pirate like him. The series is opening up to be a wonderful one with colorful characters that prove there are more to people than their abilities and disabilities. In this book 1, Polly proves to be quite the hero, championing other animals that have been stolen away too. It is the perfect beginning for a thoughtful series.

The seven-year-old loved Polly, she did not like the bullying and was willing to share her own stories of mean comments and hurtful moments at school. That is a wonderful door of opportunity that this book offered. With the leading and encouragement of the book, parents are able to discuss that touchy subjects in a less forbidding manner. THis is the excellent age to address the power of escaping bullying.

A really nice read  on September 3, 2017

This initial book in the Polly the Pirate book series is really a very nice read. Polly is slightly disabled as she only has one eye and she is scrawnier and less developed than her siblings. Despite this she is very much loved by her parents who are devastated when she is stolen away by evil two-legged destroyers.

Polly’s honourable nature and cleverness comes to the fore when she finds herself a captive with a group of other baby animals. All the babies are very distressed at having been stolen away from their families. Polly uplifts the spirits of the babies and soon finds away to help them all escape. Unfortunately, someone has to stay behind and do the distracting of the two-legged destroyers and that someone is Polly.

I like the way the Jann brings in concepts like bullying in a very subtle way and makes them a part of the story. The character of Polly develops beautifully over the course of this book and the reader becomes very fond of her and admiring of her cleverness too. My son, Michael, who read this book with me really enjoyed this initial book and we read it in two days which is much faster than usual.

Head over to Amazon and buy the book:

and on Amazon UK:

Also by Jann Weeratunga

Read the reviews and link to buy the books Amazon UK: Amazon UK

and Amazon US: Amazon US

and read more reviews and follow Jann on Goodreads:


About Jann Weeratunga

Jann Weeratunga was born in London in 1963. She has lived and worked in London, UK: Sri Lanka: UAE and Bahrain. Currently she lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.

She was a Primary School Teacher and a Scout/Cub Leader for over 20 years. As well as an NGO in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami there. She had been residing in the country prior to this and on the 23rd December 2005 had been staying in Yala National Park. She waved to friends as they entered and she left, and that was the last time she saw them, as the wave took their lives.

Determined to help she then spent the next 2 years in Aragum Bay helping villagers where she could. Sewing machine and material to set up small cottage industries. Helping to rebuild a Montessori on higher ground – a place of safety where the children will always run to should another Tsunami ever hit. Providing hundred of books to set up a new library at the school, and helping to rebuild a small B&B. She chose her family as they were a mixed marriage (Singhalese and Tamil.) and no-one else wanted to help.

Polly’s Piralympics is the fifth children’s book she has written and was inspired by the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympic Games. In his closing speech, Sir Phillip Craven told of how a young boy was reading with his mother. In the book he saw a man with an eye patch, a hook for a hand, a parrot on his shoulder and a wooden leg. When asked who it was, he said: “Well he has only one leg, so he must be an Olympian.” Such was the strength of the London 2012 Paralympics that it changed peoples’ perceptions of disability forever. The speech made her both laugh and cry and gave her the inspiration for this series of books which are both unique in concept as well as content.

Connect to Jann Weeratunga


I hope you will head over and find out more about these wonderful children’s books..thanks Sally

31 thoughts on “Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – How Polly Became a Pirate (Polly’s Piralympics) (Volume 1) by Jann Weeratunga

    • Hi Alethea,
      I just love writing for kids and Polly is going nuts in the schools in South Africa. I have visited many in the last 5 weeks and sold over 400 books as well as having my first book accepted as a setwork book in three of the schools for next year, so, I am over the moon.
      Bullying is a cancer that needs to be stomped out and I hope my book with life skills running through them (including anti-bullying), helps beat it for at least some kids.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Wow, that is so wonderful, it brings tears to my eyes. I was a victim of bullying when I was a teenager, and it has lasting scars. I just published my first book, A Girl Named Truth, and this story is within it, as well as how the effects of silencing can be long-term and cause physical disease in the body. It warms my heart that your worthy book is reaching so many young minds. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you for taking the time to reply Alethea, I have read some seriously scary stats on long term effect of bullying into adulthood, so I concur.
        Just really hope it can spread further than just the shores of South Africa, as I know the pilot I put out just before Christmas has has good feedback from the teachers.
        In one school where I spoke, within minutes of going back to the classroom the bully started. but the girl who was the object of his aggression stood up and told him to stop, that she didnt like what he was doing. he carried on and her friends came and stood behind her and repeated for him to stop and that if he wanted to be their friend he could be, but not if he carried on like he was.
        the teacher saw something was amiss and pulled him to one side to think about it for 5 minute and when he returned he apologized and asked to be their friend.
        that story happened before Christmas last year. I have been back into the school about 4 times since and all is still good in that classroom. 🙂
        So it can work.
        The more youngster we can stop, the fewer long term side-effects we have to deal with.
        Anyway, sorry about my ramble, I hope today is bright and filled with sunshine for you x

        Liked by 2 people

      • Thanks for sharing that example Jann.. it demonstrates how effective communication is with even young children.. In my own experience as a child it was instilled in us that we were seen and not heard and you never talked back. That was manna from heaven for the bullies who very often did not have the level of parental control we did.. Or they got bullied at home and found their power in the classroom. It is not new but your approach and of others who are taking their books on the subject into the classroom are part of a solution.


      • I love that story about the boy becoming a friend after being a bully. It warms the heart. Best of luck getting your book out there. I would think school librarians would be happy to carry a copy. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – How Polly Became a Pirate (Polly’s Piralympics) (Volume 1) by Jann Weeratunga | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  2. Pingback: Sally’s Cafe and Bookstore – New on the Shelves – How Polly Became a Pirate (Polly’s Piralympics) (Volume 1) by Jann Weeratunga – Kid's Books Without Borders

    • Hi Blondieaka,
      Thank you. Just delivered the books to the third school who has taken it on for their grade 3 setwork book next year and will be going into the school on the 26th to launch Polly.
      I love the way the kids react to my arm puppet, Polly the Parrot, though my alter ego does take over. It’s amazing. The kids know she is not real, but they want her to be. She gets away with blue murder ha,ha,ha.
      But she also teaches some good lessons and somehow the kids remember them. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
      Have just started calling for authors in SA to join my School’s Reading Roadshow, so will be taking 5-10 authors into schools with me from 2018 to read their books to the kids. We get the opportunity then to sell to parents in more affluent schools and have some sponsors supporting us to gift books to poorer one. I can’t wait. So Polly is going to be super busy next year too.
      Book 6 just finished and dealing with the issue of street children and drugs and not to take sweets from strangers who hang around outside schools. – always the opportunity for Polly to get a message across in a way the kids can understand it as well as enjoy the stories.
      Would love to see UK schools reading them too. Who knows?

      Liked by 2 people

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