16 November 2015

Five Favourite Pirate Picture Books for Preschoolers

Pirates are a pretty big deal with my children at the moment me hearties. I say me hearties out loud, in real life, in public, more often than you could possibly believe. And ahoy there! Ahoy there me bleedin' hearties! It's like living in a weird, bad pantomime.

If you have a pirate fan, here are a few of our favourite piratey books...

I haven't read every pirate book ever written obviously. So please do fill me in with any of your favourite pirate books! I would happily fill another shelf full of pirate books! My husband will be thrilled

1. Captain Falsebeard in a Very Fishy Tale

By Fred Blunt

Captain Falsebeard is the newest book in our pirate collection. It's written in a cartoon strip style, with loads to look at on each page. My nearly 2 year old is happy looking at the pictures for ages, but is a little young for the story. (It's not x-rated at all! Just a bit complicated for his tiny brain!) The 3 year old loves the story though, and thinks it's dead funny that (SPOILER) a pirate boy dresses like a mermaid. He also massively appreciates the large amount of parrot poo that features in the book.

It's childish and silly and that's perfect for us! The boys are hooked and want to read more stories about the characters, which is good as I think there are more titles to come.

[Available online here.]

2. The Night Pirates

By Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright

As a self-declared 'gender neutral' parent, the Night Pirates is my absolute favourite, because it includes "rough, tough little girl pirates".  YAY for little girls being rough and tough! YAY for showing my extremely non-gender-neutral 3 year old boy that girls can kick ass and be super cool.
It's also well-written and I love the illustration style.

The story is simple and it's quite short, so I like to have it ready as one of those "just one more book" books.
[You can buy it here.]

3. Captain Flinn and the Pirates Dinosaurs

By Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto

Pirates AND Dinosaurs?! Hello! I mean... I didn't need to even open this book before I bought it (a charity shop steal at 50p!!) This particular edition is 3 stories in one, fairly weighty book. The stories are a bit more grown up than the others in this list and the illustrations slightly more 'graphic' (for want of a better word). There are more swords and cutlasses and the dinosaurs are fairly scary looking, but the stories are witty and make the 'baddies'  less intimidating. For example, the big tough Gigantosaurus is scared of spiders and the Tyrannosaurus Rex's Mummy shows up and tells him off for not playing nicely. We love these stories now and I think they'll be enjoying them for a few more years to come. 
[I found this edition in a charity shop but the stories are sold separately online here.]

4. Captain Beastlies Pirate Party

By Lucy Coats and Chris Mould

Captain Beastlie is the grubbiest and smelliest pirate to sail the seven seas. The book counts down to his birthday party where his crew sneak up on him and force him to wash. The pictures are delightfully disgusting and the language is just right. We read this book for several weeks leading up to my 3 year old's pirate party and I didn't get bored of it. It's another one with pictures good enough to pour over for hours (well, y'know toddler hours... like 4 and a half minutes).
[Get it here]

5. Five Minutes to Bed

By Richard Dungworth and Sharon Harmer

Five Minutes to Bed is a nice little book with a repetitive structure and a good section for "joining in". The boys like the story, and certainly can relate to the kids begging for 5 more minutes! The eldest has also gleaned some of his best pirate vocabulary from this book, like poopdeck and jib-boom! There are no baddies or fight scenes, just a cute, fun story about kids who don't want to go to bed.
[Available online here]

Here's a quick video of me trying and failing to make my first BookTube vlog with 2 toddlers! Seriously, how do people make good videos with their children?!

We were recently sent Captain Falsebeard for the purposes of this review but all other books listed were in our collection already. 


  1. Great choices, your kids have marvellous taste :)

    1. Haha! Thanks for commenting! :) When is the next installment of Captain Falsebeard?!