Seven swashbuckling pirate stories, chosen by Sally Garland

Published on: 03 March 2021 Author: Sally Garland

Avast ye, landlubbers! The Little Pirate Queen author Sally Garland shares her favourite pirate stories for children.

 Author Sally Garland and The Little Pirate QueenAuthor Sally Garland and The Little Pirate Queen

Like Lucy in my book The Little Pirate Queen, I think we can all sometimes feel a bit sad or frustrated. There's nothing better than a good pirate adventure to lift your spirits; with plenty of brilliant pirate talk and silly buccaneer spirit. Here are a few of my favourite pirate stories!

Cats Ahoy! by Peter Bently and Jim Field

A group of mischievous cats keep a secret from the townsfolk. When Alfonso the cat over hears that a trawler full of haddock is due to arrive in the harbour the next day, he rallies his moggy crew to hijack the trawler and steal the haddock for themselves! This is a hilarious tale with a really funny ending and lots of wonderfully detailed pictures to look at.

Read our review

A New Home for A Pirate by Ronda Armitage and Holly Swain

Jed decides he doesn't want to be a pirate anymore and wants “a house that stands still with a view from a hill”. A rollicking, rhyming tale with great illustrations and some fantastic pirate words for younger children to enjoy.

Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort

Funny words and vivid illustrations make this an extremely silly book. Plenty of underpants humour that made me giggle out loud as I read about the crew of the ‘Black Bloomer’ and their quest to find the legendary golden underpants.

The Pirates Next Door by Jonny Duddle

Illustration from The Pirates Next DoorIllustration from The Pirates Next Door

When a family of pirates move in next door to Matilda in a town called Dull-on -Sea, not a lot of people are happy! A humorous, swashbuckling tale that is also quite a clever look at small-mindedness and attitudes towards people who are different in some way. Superb artwork which you can look at over and over again and still see something new.

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The Night Pirates by Peter Harris and Deborah Allwright

A strange and funny tale about “rough tough little girl pirates” who one night come and steal the front of Tom’s house to use as a disguise for their ship. They then take him on an adventure as part of their crew where they trick and scare grown up pirates so they can steal their treasure. Did it really happen or did Tom just dream it?

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Captain Flinn and The Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andrae and Russell Ayto

What could possibly be scarier than pirates? Pirate Dinosaurs, that's what! When Flinn goes into his classroom’s art cupboards for drawing supplies he finds more than he bargains for. A good fun romp with some fantastic scary illustrations to go with it.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Illustration from Treasure IslandIllustration from Treasure Island

This had to be included as it was one of the first books I read. A classic story set in the eighteenth century about a young boy called Jim Hawkins who lives at his parents’ inn. When an old sea captain named Billy Bones dies in the inn after he receives the dreaded "Black Spot", Jim embarks on an epic adventure to find treasure - which includes perhaps one of the most famous pirates, Long John Silver.

Got a pirate story to recommend? Tell us in the comments or tweet us @BookTrust!

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