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You are here: Home Youth Youth Booklists Preschool Books About Pirates

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pirate mapCaptain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto
Picture Book AND
One day, Flinn finds a pirate crying in the supply closet at school. Captain Stubble's ship has been stolen, and soon Flinn and his friends are off to win it back from the Pirate Dinosaurs! This is a little bit scary for young children, but exciting for older preschoolers and up.
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Olive's Pirate Party by Roberta Baker. Illustrated by Debbie Tilley.
Picture Book – BAK

Olive wants a pirate party for her seventh birthday. When her aged and proper Aunt Tiffany volunteers to host, Olive wishes she'd never thought of the idea. But creativity and love win the day in this light-hearted story.
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Fluffy: Scourge of the Sea by Teresa Bateman. Illustrated by Michael Chesworth.
Picture Book – BAT

An overdressed poodle named Fluffy is taken captive by a crew of salty pirate dogs in this fun, rhyming saga. All is not lost, for Fluffy’s quick wits soon make him captain of the pirate ship. The cartoon-like colored pencil and watercolor illustrations fit the story perfectly.
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Victricia Malicia, Book-Loving Buccaneer by Carrie Clickard. Illustrated by Mark Meyers.
Picture Book - CLI
Victricia Malicia is a young pirate girl whose family members have all been pirates for generations.Born on ship and taught pirate ways, everyone expects her to grow up to be a pirate. But Victricia Malicia loves books and dry land. Can she find a new life for herself and still keep the respect of her pirate parents and peers. This funny story is told in bouncy rhyme with bright, cartoony acrylic illustrations that will charm preschoolers and up.

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The Pirate Meets the Queen by Matt Faulkner.
Picture Book Shelves – FAU

This exciting tale tells embroiders what is known of real-life Irish pirate Granny O’Malley (short for Granuaile or Grace). She cut off her hair and disguised herself as a boy to join her father’s ship in her youth. Later in life, in the title episode, she goes in person to petition Red Liz, the Queen of England, for her son’s freedom. It’s illustrated with flowing but realistic gouache paintings. This is a little long, and exciting without being scary.
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Pirate Piggy Wiggy by Christyan and Diane Fox.
Picture Book Shelves – FOX
PiggyWiggy dreams of being a pirate in a book suitable for the very youngest buccaneers, with brief text and bold pictures.
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Tough Boris by Mem Fox. Illustrated by Kathryn Brown.
Picture Book – FOX

"[Boris] was tough. All pirates are tough." So begins this classic pirate book for all ages. Young children will appreciate the simple, repetitive text. Children beginning to read on their own will be able to read the text, while both they and their parents will enjoy following the more complicated story told in the expressive watercolor pictures.

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Pirate Girl by Cornelia Funke. Illustrated by Kerstin Meyer.
Picture Book – FUN

Young Molly is sailing to visit her grandma when she is kidnapped by Captain Firebeard, terror of the high seas. Although they make her do all the work on the ship, she won’t reveal her parents’ names and addresses. She has a plan, and when Captain Firebeard finds out who her mother is, he’ll be shaking in his boots.
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Roger, the Jolly Pirate by Brett Helquist.
Picture Book – HEL
Roger is a terrible pirate – too clumsy and especially too cheerful. He’s told to stay below decks when his pirate ship is attacked, but in the end, saves the day. It’s a light-hearted origin story for the pirate flag from the illustrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events.
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The Erie Canal Pirates by Eric A. Kimmel. Illustrated by Andrew Glass.
Picture Book – KIM

Pirates come a little closer to home with this song of escaping from pirates on the Erie Canal. It turns out there really were Erie Canal pirates, but kids will love this fanciful rhyme (it scans to the original Erie Canal song) and the fantastical adventure. Bold and loose illustrations.
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Bubble Bath Piratesby Jarrett J. Krosoczka
Picture Book - KRO

When Pirate Mommy tells her little pirates to walk the plank into the bathtub, off they go. This is a bright and rhythmic book suitable for even very young pirates.
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Pirate Bob by Kathryn Lasky. Illustrated by David Clark.
Picture Book – LAS

Pirate Bob has a long nose with a scar that runs all the way to his ear, which has a gold earring. His best friend, Yellow Jack, has scurvy and also buried treasure. This is an honest look at the life of a pirate, with captivatingly humorous ink and watercolor illustrations.
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How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long. Illustrated by David Shannon.
Picture Book – LON

Young Jeremy Jacobs is building sandcastles on the beach when a pirate ship sails up. Captain Braidbeard and his crew are lost, and looking for a good digger. In a fabulous dream-come-true narrative, he joins the pirate crew and learns the ups and downs of being a pirate –no veggies, but also no bedtime kisses. And of course, he still has to be home in time for soccer practice the next day. David Shannon’s quirky oil paintings are the perfect accompaniment for this book.
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Don't Mention Pirates by Sarah McConnell.
Picture Book – MCC

Scarlett Silver knows that she isn’t supposed to talk about pirates at home, even though their house is shaped like a pirate ship. But when she finds gold in their yard, it turns out that treasure is easier to bury than a true pirate nature.
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Backbeard and the Birthday Suit by Matthew McElligott
Picture Book – MCE

Captain Backbeard is a fierce, slobby and very hairy pirate. He can’t even get a parrot to stay with him. When his birthday party rips his old clothes to shreds, it’s time to visit a tailor for a new suit, even if the tailor doesn’t have regular pirate clothes. What will his pirate crew have to say about his new bright clothes with matching straw boater?
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Captain Abdul’s Pirate School by Colin McNaughton
Picture Book – MCN

Maisy Pickles' father thinks she needs to be tougher, so he sends her to pirate school. When she overhears the pirate teachers talking about asking for ransom money from the children's parents, she decides to be a better pirate than the pirates and organizes a mutiny. A little on the long side, but a fun story.
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Edward and the Pirates by David McPhail
Picture Book – MCP

Edward loves to read. He loves to read so much that he feels like he’s really part of the story. But what will he do when pirates come in the middle of the night to claim the book about lost pirate treasure that Edward checked out of the library? Although the text is simple, the references to characters like Admiral Peary and Robin Hood, combined with powerful pirates painted in dark acrylics make this more suitable for early elementary school children than preschoolers.
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You Can Do Anything, Daddy! By Michael Rex
Picture Book – REX

A bedtime story comes to life in this entertaining tale. Daddy reassures his son that he would do whatever it takes to rescue him from pirates who are robot gorilla pirates from Mars by the end, braving dangers vaguely reminiscent of Indiana Jones. Afterwards, the son takes care of Daddy with apple juice, bandages and kisses. Prepare for multiple readings.
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This Little Pirate by Philemon Sturges. Illustrated by Amy Walrod.
Picture Book – STU

The words sound remarkably like the familiar “This Little Piggy.” The pirates are, in fact, piggies. Two crews of fearsome pirate piggies, both headed for the same large treasure chest. Who will get there first? What will happen? A fun adventure for young pirates, of course! Detailed cut-paper illustrations round out the story.
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Shiver Me Letters: a Pirate ABC by June Sobel. Illustrated by Henry Cole
Picture Book – SOB

“’R,’ roared the captain. ‘R’s not enough. We need other letters to help make us tough.” Thus begins the fearsome quest to find every letter of the alphabet. The rhyming text makes this more readable than many alphabet books, while the cheerful animal crew adds to the already lively story.

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