Picture Books Ahoy! Using the Picture Book Month Calendar, I am going to post five favorite picture books of mine for each day of November. Today’s theme is pirates.
“You will never find such a wretched hive of scum and villainy.” While Ben Kenobi was talking about Mos Eisley, those same words could easily be used for pirates as well! Pirates bring to mind sword fights, treachery, larger than life adventures, grins, cruelty, planks and a certain song back when it blared through the Disney ride. Pirates make me think of hooks, crocodiles and movies. They also make me think of singing vegetables declaring how they don’t do anything, but that’s a completely different thing.
Pirates are popular in picture books today and in children’s books in general. Here are some picture books with pirates, both stereotypical and unusual, that I have enjoyed. I can’t think of any childhood pirate favorites, so these are all relatively recent reads for me.
1. The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle. Captain Purplebeard and his band of cutthroats aboard the Midas Touch are searching for treasure in this picture book/comic hybrid. The adventure begins with an older fiddler singing of treasure. The parrot is the one crew member with common sense. The color choices in Pirate Cruncher really highlight the characters’ moods. There’s a great surprise at the end when readers move the final flap.
2. How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long. This is the amusing story of a boy who wandered away from his busy parents and off the beach to become a pirate. The boys learns there are some great things that pirates don’t have to do, but decides to return home in the end to play for his pirates soccer team. The fun continues in Pirates Don’t Change Diapers.
3. Small Saul by Ashley Spires. When Small Saul can’t join the navy, he turns to piracy. He’s doesn’t act the same way as any pirate the rest have ever seen, but that doesn’t mean this small pirate with the rabbit tattoo doesn’t have a part to play!
4. A Pirate’s Guide to First Grade by James Preller. The dialogue in this guide to school makes this book a fun read aloud to share. I also enjoy where the boy’s map takes him.
5. Dinosailors by Deb Lund. Dinosaurs on the high seas were a favorite of my former first graders to read on Tumblebooks.
Can anyone think of some good pirate books from before 2000? I’m wondering what I’m forgetting or what I missed because all my pirates were on screen except for reading Treasure Island in sixth grade.