Greeting, parents and caregivers of young children! It’s Labor Day! Without consulting a smartphone (or smartfriend), do you have any idea why we celebrate this holiday? While its merits for celebration are numerous, I didn’t have a clue without first doing a little research. It makes sense now, but I’ll admit that I was stymied for the first 30 years of my life. Time off from work? I’ll take it! Family and friends? Sure! Yay, Labor Day! Even though researching the history of Labor Day provides some illumination about its significance and origins, it’s still not the easiest holiday for families to understand.
There’s a lesser-known, easier-to-understand, and decidedly more irreverent holiday that many forego in September: International Talk Like a Pirate Day. While discussing labor unions with your children may produce little more than glazed eyes and drooling, a discussion of labor unions in a pirate voice is sure to induce giggling and guffawing. I implore you to celebrate this year on September 19th. I’d also like to extend an invitation to everyone for this month’s pirate-themed Family Craft Night at Del City Library.
Ye scallywags don't wants t' wench th' fun we'll 'ave makin' pirate booty together! Arr!
So grown-ups, without further adieu, I present you with 9 pirate-y books to share with your little buccaneers this holiday season. Until next time, keep reading together!
Pirasaurs! by Josh Funk
Captain Rex is the shiver-me-timberest pirasaur on the seven seas! When the new recruit comes aboard her vessel, he’s got to prove he’s worthy of riding the high seas with the her crew. If not, he’ll have to walk the plank. Come join the pirasaurs on an adventure like none other as they learn to work together to search for buried treasure!
How to Find Gold by Viviane Schwarz
Best friends Anna and Crocodile are itching for adventure. Anna’s plan? Find some gold. Crocodile isn’t so keen on this plan. You don’t just find gold. You have to look for it! Eventually Anna convinces Crocodile and the two go on an unforgettable undersea adventure.
Pi-Rat by Maxine Lee
Pi-Rat is adventurous young scallywag who isn’t afraid of treachery on the high seas. He’s battled crocs and sharks, but he and his crew might have met their match when a new breed of monster threatens to make them walk the plank. Can the crew escape the mom-ster?
Beard in a Box by Bill Cotter
Any kid knows that a dad’s awesomeness is directly proportional to the length of his beard. But what happens when a kid wants to up their awesomeness by a few levels by accelerating their own facial follicle growth? This book will have its readers asking, “$19.95 plus shipping and handling?! What a bargain!”
Small Saul by Ashley Spires
Potted flowers, citrus cakes, and interior design aren’t the usual terms that come to mind when you think of pirating, but Small Saul isn’t your average pirate. Find out if this endearing oddball can find a permanent station on the Rusty Squid in this charming tale of belonging.
The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon (illustrated by Lynna Avril)
Exceptional children often see the world through a different lens than their peers. Such is the case for Ginny who struggles during reading time. With a little help from her school nurse, Ginny will find out that being different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. This book is the 2010 Schneider Family Book Award winner.
Swap! by Steve Light
In this seafaring tale, a little girl befriends a downtrodden sailor and helps him play the classic game of Bigger, Better to upgrade his worn-out ship. I’m a huge fan of Steve Light’s work. His use of contrast and color make his stories memorable for children and adults alike.
The Pirate Who Said Please by Timothy Knapman
If Pirasaurs! was a little too rough-and-tumble for your liking, then this book (part of the “Marvelous Manners” series) is for you. Pirate Jim is kind and polite these days but it’s only because he learned the hard way what happens when you choose to be rude to your friends (they disappear). The talking points at the end are fantastic and help open up dialogue between kids and adults.
The Pirate’s Bed by Nicola Winstanley (Illustrated by Matt James)
Some pirates can sleep even through the most brutal storms. But what about the pirate’s bed? When a pirate crew ends up shipwrecked, the pirate’s bed floats aimlessly out to sea in search of a new sleeper to call its own. Kids and adults both will enjoy the whimsical artistry and folk-like rhythm of this book.