Pirate picture books have long been popular with young children and as a child I regularly borrowed the Captain Pugwash books from the library as well as watching him on television. Cartoonist John Ryan, who created the Captain Pugwash stories, died in 2009 but several of his Captain Pugwash books have been reprinted by Quarto.
The picture book market is awash with pirate picture books. Jonny Duddle’s, The Pirates Next Door, was one of the first picture books that I bought my daughter and also one of the first books that we featured on Story Snug. More pirates have joined our bookshelves since then but Jonny’s Jolley-Rogers remain firm favourites. My daughter chose it for her bedtime story last night and it was a very different reading experience to that which we had when she was younger. There was lots of discussion about the language and the vocabulary and we pored over the little details in the pictures. Jonny’s books are definitely proof that picture books can be enjoyed by all ages.
The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle: Matilda’s life in Dull-on-Sea becomes more exciting when The Jolley-Rogers move in next door while they repair their pirate ship. But, although she has a lot of fun with Jim Lad, the other residents are not so happy about their new neighbours’ behaviour…
The Pirates of Scurvy Sands by Jonny Duddle: Matilda joins The Jolley Rogers on their holiday in Scurvy Sands but rumours start to spread that Matilda is a landlubber. To ease suspicions Matilda must start behaving more like a pirate so she joins Jim on a search for buried treasure…
Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers by Alexandra English and Duncan Beedie: Pirates Don’t Drive Diggers is the amusing, rhyming tale of a young pirate who is obsessed with diggers. Brad, dreams of working on a building site but is constantly told, ‘Pirates don’t drive diggers, Lad!’. But then Brad is sent to dig up some treasure…
Pirates Don’t Go To School by Alan MacDonald and Magda Brol: Pirates Don’t Go To School takes an amusing look at a little pirate’s first day at school. Jake’s family have heard terrible things about schools and teachers but can he convince them to let him leave The Salty Prawn and go…?
Go, Go, Pirate Boat by Katrina Charman and Nick Sharratt: Go, Go, Pirate Boat is a colourful, rhyming picture book which can be sung to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat. It’s a fun first picture book for toddlers and pre-schoolers, its rollicking rhyme keeps you turning the pages as you follow two little pirates on a seafaring adventure.
The Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright: Tom sails with a crew of girl pirates to an island where they surprise Captain Patch and his pirate crew. This swashbuckling adventure overturns traditionally stereotypical pirate roles and celebrates girl power!
Sunk! by Rob Biddulph: Penguin Blue and his friends set sail on a pirate adventure across the seven seas. But when an accident causes their ‘ship’ to sink, they discover that treasure isn’t always gold and jewels. Rob’s easy to read, rhyming text, combined with his amusing illustrations, sets a fast, swashbuckling pace for Penguin Blue’s adventure.
Lunch on a Pirate Ship by Caryl Hart and Kristina Stephenson: Jack doesn’t want to eat the baked beans and chips that Mum has cooked for his lunch so he boards a pirate ship. But is lunch on board any better? This fun rhyming story shows the power of a child’s imagination and is a great story for fussy eaters!
Aerodynamics of Biscuits by Clare Helen Welsh and Sophia Touliatou: Oliver flies to the moon with the pirate mice who have stolen his biscuits but when they find themselves stranded they need to find a way of getting back again. Pirate mice flying to the moon is such an original idea and the title fits the adventure perfectly! We’d love to see Captain McSqueaky and his pirate crew in another story.
Never Mess With A Pirate Princess by Holly Ryan and Sian Roberts: When a pirate steals Princess Prue’s beloved teddy bear she embarks on a quest to find him. She discovers Teddy and Sir Frank, the gallant knight who told her to stay at home, on a pirate ship and wastes no time in rescuing them from the pirates. Princess Prue is a fabulous role model for young readers and the story is a real celebration of girl power.
Captain Sparklebeard by Timothy Knapman and Sam Lloyd: Captain Sparklebeard is a fun, action packed story that smashes gender stereotypes and celebrates girl power and the ability to read. Book lover Peg’s thirst for escape and adventure leads her to become a pirate – a successful pirate with a sparkly beard!
Today is #InternationalTalkLikeAPirateDay and we would love to know what you’ll be reading to celebrate.