Saturday, September 1, 2007

Pirate Books for Preschoolers

My almost-four year old son recently decided that he wanted a pirate birthday party. This came completely out of the blue. I fully expected him to request a Cars theme, but while in the shopping cart at Target he informed me that he “loves” pirates. So, we have been on a quest for pirate material appropriate to an almost-four year old. I am not overly protective, but I don’t think that he needs to be reading hack-and-slash books just yet. He has plenty of time for that when he is older.

We started at the public library. I asked our librarian for pirate books appropriate for a preschooler. She gave me Disasters at Sea – a true life account of boating disasters throughout history including the sinking of the Lusitania and the Exxon Valdez crisis. Needless to say, this was not exactly what I had in mind. The other books she found were non-fiction books that were much too long to hold a young boy’s attention span.

On to round two: I spent an evening in front of the computer looking up pirate books. The Amazon feature, “Customers who bought this item also bought” is great! Picking and searching, I finally compiled a decent list of stories that are about pirates. But the focus is on buried treasure and parrots and pirate’s outfits. The mention of guns and swords is minimal.

Now each week at the library we look for two or three of the books on the list. We’ve made it through at least half and the interest in pirates has not declined.

Here is what we found:

Pirate Pete by Kim Kennedy

Pirate Pete’s Giant Adventure by Kim Kennedy

Backbeard and the Birthday Suit by Matthew McElligott

Do Pirates Take Baths? By Kathy Tucker

How I became a Pirate by Melinda Long

Shiver Me Letters by June Sobel

Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Alwright

Roger the Jolly Pirate by Brett Helquist

Pirate’s Parrot by Lyn Rossiter McFarland and Jim McFarland

On the Go with Pirate Pete by Ann Edwards Cannon and Elwood Smith

Pirate School – a chapter book series.

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