Why would a baby boomer mom like stories about swashbucklers? Brothers. I had three older brothers. We built forts. We wielded swords. We looked for treasure.
That explains why I made an impulse purchase at Walmart this week. I walked past a bin of discount children’s books and the “Handbook of 50 Pirates” was sitting on the top of the pile. I flipped through the pages and my inner child tossed it in my cart.
On closer inspection, I made a good buy. The 96-page paperback alternates blocks of text with images of classic buccaneers, ships and navigation tools, as well as copies of historic maps. The back contains an impressive six-page glossary. While the likes of Captain Henry Morgan, Blackbeard and Captain Kidd are mentioned, many lesser known pirates and privateers are featured.
The “Handbook of 50 Pirates” is aimed at more advanced students, but the graphics will feed the imagination of emerging readers. It's carried by Amazon and the Handbook of Pirates website. Big Universe has online picture books about pirates, too. See the following list.
- “Pirates,” a comic-styled book written by Joanne Mattern and illustrated by Chris Marrinan, featuring pirates and privateers of the seven seas. Juvenile level. Historical, but violence mentioned. (Rourke)
- “Lucky the Pirate,” a humorous (but gruesome) tall tale by cartoonist John Lakey. Reading Level 2-3. (Remedia)
- “Vikings,” a graphic-styled book about Norseman pirates written by journalism professor Don McLeese and illustrated by Chris Marrinan. Juvenile level. Historical, but violence mentioned. (Rourke)
- “I Sail the Sea,” animated audio book, (Mighty Books)
- “The Pirates: Row Your Boat,” animated audio book, (Mighty Books)
- “The Pirates? The Princess," animated audio book, (Mighty Books)
- “The Pirates Meet Jekyl and Hyde,” animated audio book, (Mighty Books)
For other pirate book suggestions, check out National Geographic’s buccaneer book list.