In honor of pirate lovers everywhere, our own pirate crew took to the high seas to hunt down the very best pirate picture books they could lay their hands on. Lots of children’s books had to walk the plank in the process, but we found the best of the best. No shark chum fer ya here, me hearties!
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by Kari-Lynn Winters
Everyone knows pirates have to be saucy and bold, but most of all they have to be selfish! Captain Barnacle orders his entire crew to be as selfish as possible—no good deeds or helping hands allowed. But the captain’s daughter doesn’t have a selfish bone in her body. Can a selfless pirate be a good pirate after all?
Grandma and the Pirates
by Phoebe Gilman
What’s a girl to do when hungry pirates kidnap her pudding-cooking Grandma? Melissa knows she has to do something, so off she swims to rescue her grandma—but that’s only the beginning of their troubles! Will they ever escape the pirates, or will they be stuck cooking noodle pudding on a pirate ship for the rest of their lives?
How I Became a Pirate
by Melinda Long
While playing on the beach, Jeremy Jacobs is happily shanghaied by Captain Braid Beard’s band of pirates! At first, Jeremy is quite enamored with the life of a pirate—their language, their songs, and their nonexistent table manners. But before long he begins to wonder if the fun and frolic of pirate life makes up for what he’s missing.
I Love My Pirate Papa
by Laura Leuck
Even pirates can make great papas! In this charmingly rhythmic picture book, a young buccaneer describes all the reasons he loves his pirate papa. Whether they’re hoisting the Jolly Roger, reading treasure maps together (X is their favorite letter), or just getting ready for a good night’s sleep, this father and son pirate pair just love being together.
Pirate Pete’s Talk Like a Pirate
by Kim Kennedy
A pirate ship is just a ship if it doesn’t have a crew to do the sailing and cannon firing—and poor Pirate Pete doesn’t have a crew. Of course, he’s hunting for a shipful of the most stubborn, cranky, and stinky pirates he can find! But that’s not all: Pirate Pete wants a crew that can talk like pirates, too! Will he ever find them?
by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
Princess Bea doesn’t want to wear frilly dresses and she certainly doesn’t want to learn how to serve tea. She wants to sail the seven seas as a pirate! In this rhyming romp of a tale, Princess Bea tries everything to find her place on a pirate ship, but being a pirate may not be as easy as she thinks. Maybe the pirate’s life isn’t for her after all!
Pirates Don’t Change Diapers
by Melinda Long
Are pirates good babysitters? In this laugh-out-loud picture book, the answer is a rousing NO! Jeremy Jacobs won’t let Captain Braid Beard and his crew dig up their treasure—unless they help him babysit howling Bonney Anne. But it soon becomes clear that no matter how good their treasure-hunting skills are, pirates should never be babysitters!
Pirate’s Lullaby: Mutiny at Bedtime
by Marcie Wessel
It’s time for bed on the pirate ship, but little Ned is not interested in going to sleep. His father the pirate captain tries everything to make Ned behave—finding his teddy bear, helping him put away his toys—but not even painting an “X marks the spot” on his pillow will help. Ned’s attempts to stay up late might tire out his papa first!
Pirate’s Perfect Pet
by Beth Ferry
Captain Crave has everything a pirate needs—well, almost everything. He’s still trying to find a peg leg, but even more importantly, he’s in search of a pet! Scouring the beach, a farm, and the zoo, he won’t rest until he finds the perfect furry … or maybe feathery … friend. But what if the perfect pet for a pirate can’t be found on land or sea?
Prince and Pirate
by Charlotte Gunnufson
Prince and Pirate are two very different fish who lead two very different lives in two very different fishbowls. But both are just as happy as clams. That is, until the day they find themselves in the same tank together. There may never be peace in the royal waters again—at least not until these two scurvy scalawags can find a way to get along!
by Ashley Spires
Saul was born to sail the sea—but he’s too short to join the navy. What else can an aspiring sea dog do but become a rough, tough pirate? But there’s a problem—Saul is neither rough nor tough! Can Saul prove he belongs on the seven seas, even if he’d rather sing chanteys than hunt treasure? After all, there’s room on the ship for everyone!
The Pirates Next Door
by Jonny Duddle
Not much happens in the town of Dull-On-Sea … until a sword-wielding pirate family moves in! Suddenly, the town is alive with happenings—including a petition to get rid of the newcomers. Pirates are just too smelly for a pretty town like Dull-On-Sea. Maybe the villagers have a lesson to learn about judging a pirate by his patch.
Ned the Knitting Pirate
by Diana Murray
This delightful rhyming picture book offers a hilarious look at a pirate who doesn’t like to heave and ho and swab like the rest of the crew aboard the Rusty Heap. Ned does like to knit, and the captain isn’t very happy about that! But maybe Ned’s knitting will come in handy after all!
Would you like to read some of my favorite pirate picture books with your children? Click to download our list to take to your local library.
Looking for MORE books? You can find more great library lists here!
Do you have a favorite pirate picture book? Please share it in the comments below and I’ll add it to our Readers’ Picks box!