Children's books

Arrr! Some of Me Favorite Pirate Books

With Talk Like a Pirate Day sneaking up on us (September 19th), I am sharing some of my favorite pirate books for every age.  Hoist the little ones into the ship, put on ye best pirate voice (grunts, growls, and bad grammar allowed), and prepare for four pirate adventures.



Ned the Knitting Pirate

by Diana Murray and Leslie Lammle

August 2016 Roaring Brook Press. Ages 6-9

In this new hit, Ned spends his long days on the ship knitting but when the captain finds out about his hobby, he won’t hear of it!  Ned is told to hide his knitting needles and act more pirate-like.  But when trouble finds them in the form of a sea monster, Ned’s knitting just might save the day!

Diana Murray’s jolly rhyme is fun to read out loud and Leslie Lammle’s illustrations have the feel of a classic.  Little pirates will giggle their hats off at this creative tale.


“We’re grouchy and slouchy. We don’t ever quit! / We slurp, and we burp, and we gulp, and we… / KNIT!!!”


What people be sayin’:

“Murray has great fun with her tale, which is perfect for reading aloud. (…) Ned can be viewed as a bender of gender stereotypes with great appeal to all. (…) Cast on and cast off for a great yarn!”-Kirkus


Arrr! Order here and add it to ye playlist.




How to be a Pirate

by Sue Fliess and Nikki Dyson

January 2014 Little Golden Books  Ages 2-5

Don’t know what it takes to be a pirate? No problem, here’s a how-to book on all things pirate.  In this jolly, rhyming tale, friendly looking pirates give children a tour around the ship, teach them what pirates wear (do you want an eye patch, a parrot, a hook?) and give them a lesson on pirate lingo (yo ho ho!). Of course, like all tough pirates do, they fight battles along the way. A perfect book to share with your little landlubbers on Talk Like A Pirate Day and every day!


Ahoy, landlubber! Come with me.
Board me ship upon the sea!
Not a pirate? Don’t know how?
Ye can learn to be one now!


What people be sayin’

“Nikki Dyson’s bright, expressive illustrations complement perfectly the book’s bouncy rhythm and boisterous rhymes.”

Arrr! Order here and add it to ye playlist



Pirate Nap: A book of Colors

by Danna Smith and Valeria Petrone

Clarion Books September 6, 2011.  Ages 2-3

This book is an oldie but a goodie written by an “arr-some” person… okay, I confess, I wrote it, but how can I not add this colorfully illustrated naptime book to our pirate playlist? Plus, if I haven’t convinced you yet, Pirate Nap just had a birthday and it would feel left out if I didn’t mention it – cheers to five years!

What better place for naptime than a grand pirate ship on the high seas?  There is only one problem, two little scallywags are not quite ready for naptime.  So, along the way to their pirate ship bed, they go on a colorful treasure hunt. Before long they come in contact with a purple monster- yikes! (turns out it is their sister in her purple jammies who tries to steal their loot).  All tuckered out, the pirates (and monster) climb aboard their ship, stash their treasure, and sail off to sleep.



“Time for a nap, rowdy crew. Mighty pirates need sleep, too.”

Captian sneers. “‘Tis a trap! Pirates never, ever nap!”


What people be sayin’

“This title inspires creative play, and is likely to be a treasure for years to come.”—School Library Journal


Arrr! Order here and add it to ye playlist




Pirates Love Underpants

by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

Aladdin September 2013.  Ages 4-7


Just the word “underpants” makes most kids giggle, but add pirates to the mix and you’ve got the silliest story ever.  In Pirates Love Underpants, pirates wearing underpants over their clothing board their ship, the Black Bloomer, and go in search of the best treasure of all – a solid “pants of gold” statue.  When they reach Big Knickers Bay they see hungry sharks circling (in underpants of course) where they run into enemy pirates and a battle begins.  This book is one book in a series of underpants books. It turns out Dinosaurs, Monsters, and Aliens also love underpants. As they should.



These pirates SO love underpants,
They’re on a special quest
To find the fabled Pants of Gold,
For the Captain’s treasure chest

What people be sayin’

 …in the midst of all the boisterous fun, there’s a good lesson, too: don’t wear underpants lacking sound elastic to keep them on just right.” – Booklist


Arrr! Order here and add it to ye playlist

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