This blog post has a sea-faring theme with a selection of books for readers of all ages about pirates, the sea, and the creatures who live in it.
‘Lula and the Sea Monster’ by Alex Latimer (OUP)
Lula lives by the beach in her beautiful family home and she loves it. She loves looking for creatures that have been washed up on the shore and taking care of them. But she won’t be able to do so much longer because a new highway is being built and Lula’s house is in the way.
The discovery of a teeny, tiny creature Lula names Bean might just change all that as he grows and grows and grows…
Book Boy Jr loved this story and was very taken with Bean. We were staying by the beach when we read it and had to go rock-pool hunting the next day! A enjoyable tale about friendship, looking after others and caring for the environment. 3+
‘The Pirate Who Lost His Name’ by Lou Treleaven, illustrated by Genie Espinosa (Maverick Publishing)
There’s a very piratey pirate who has everything he needs: a parrot, an eyepatch, a boat. But one thing is missing and he just can’t find it – his name! No matter how hard he tries, he just can’t remember and nobody else’s seems to be able to help him either!
Captain Dreamboat couldn’t help, the pirate barber can’t help, but maybe his parrot knows something?
My boys loved meeting the whole pirate team and finding out more about them. They both coveted Pirate Anorak’s immense treasure mound! They were also both screaming at the book by the end I’d be the story as they’d worked out what the poor forgetful pirate’s name was. Lots of fun with illustrations which make the characters leap off the pages. 3+
‘The Pirate Tree’ by Brigita Orel, illustrated by Jennie Poh (Lantana Publishing)
The gnarled tree on the hill stands watching and waiting. Waiting for fearless Captain Sam to arrive and turn it into a pirate ship with the power of her imagination. Normally it’s just Sam and the tree, but today another sailor’s watching.
Agu is unsurprised when Sam ignores him and carries on her game regardless. It’s so hard being a newcomer. No one wants to play with him. But when the conversation turns to diamonds, Agu says something which catches Sam’s attention. Maybe he is worth talking to after all….
The beautiful, soft illustrations perfectly capture the spirit of imagination and the tree’s yearning to to be a pirate ship once more. It would the ideal story to explore how to welcome newcomers and make new friends. 4+
‘Molly Rogers to the Rescue’ by Cornelia Funke, illustrated by Kasia Matyjaszek (Barrington Stoke)
Molly Rogers and her mum, Barbarous Bertha, are not your normal treasure-seeking pirates. They’re in charge of protecting a swathe of the emerald-green ocean and the islands upon it. So naturally, when they learn that arch-enemy Captain Firebeard and his crew are busily digging up Monkey Skull Island they spring into action.
They come up with a daring plan to outwit the crew with a little help from some of their animal friends. Captain Firebeard is about to get a little more than the mounds of gold he he’d bargained for!
Another great accessible title from dyslexia-friendly publisher, Barrington Stoke. I loved the twist of the female pirates and the environmental theme. A fun read for those aged 5+
‘The Jolley-Rogers and the Pirate Piper’ by Jonny Duddle (Templar Books)
This is a new instalment in Duddle’s swashbuckling series of highly illustrated chapter books which are brilliant for readers who want something longer than a picture book but shorter than a traditional shooter book. These books are crammed with Duddle’s astounding illustrations and lots of fantastic pirate vocabulary. They feature the family of pirates featured in his original picture book, ‘The Pirates Next Door’.
In this newest adventure, the residents of Dull-on-Sea wake up to find their town besieged by a plague of rats. Luckily, a mysterious stranger with a pipe arrives in the much of time and promises to rid the town of their furry problem.
All’s well until the mayor refuses to pay the Pirate Piper what he’s owed, resulting in the town’s children being spirited away. Can Matilda, Jim Lad and the Jolley-Rogers crew save their friends beforehand it’s too late? 6+
You can listen to Jonny talking about the creation of this book on my podcast HERE.
‘Emily Windsnap and the Pirate Prince’ by Liz Kessler, illustrated by Lisa Horton (Orion Children’s Books)
A new piratey title for fans of Emily Windsnap (girl on land, mermaid in water). This new adventure sees Emily joining a pirate crew to rescue her boyfriend Aaron who has been captured by a rival pirate crew. The Pirate Prince agrees to help as long as Emily helps him complete the challenges set by his father to find the Trident’s Treasure.
Emily agrees but starts to regret her decision when she discovers that pirates hate mermaids and that she will be in terrible danger if her true identity is revealed. But how can she keep her identity secret if the only way to win the treasure by turning into a mermaid?! A pirate adventure for older readers aged 8+
Plenty there for everyone to pick from. Some traditional swashbuckling pirates and some less so but all gorgeous and with something to engage their readers.
*Many thanks to all the publishers who sent me these titles to review*