Friday, 19 September 2014

Avast, land lubbers! It’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Arrr!

There really is a day for everything! This might be one of our favourites, though. International Talk Like a Pirate Day was established by a group of friends (or should we say shipmates?) in 1995 and since then has become something of a worldwide phenomenon. You can find out all about it, and get some ideas of how to join in, on the official website. Here at UWTSD Swansea libraries, we think it’s a perfect excuse to share our favourite pirate books with you!

Class Three All at Sea, Julia Jarman
Definitely the best story about pirates there’s ever been! In this rhyming picture book, class three’s school trip out to sea with Captain Keith takes a turn for the worse when they’re captured by pirates. Good thing there’s a friendly octopus around to help!

Pirates ‘n’ pistols, Chris Mould
This is a beautiful collection of pirate stories, old and new. It was nominated for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for children’s illustration in 2013, and it’s easy to see why – the pictures are so full of life and colour.

Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
OK, so the pirates in this book are actually two young girls, Nancy and Peggy Beckett, but this is still a rollicking good read and a classic from the golden age of children’s literature.

The Gardening Pirates / Môr-Ladron yr Ardd, Chris Glynn and Ruth Morgan
Times are hard on the bad ship Ych-y-Fi, but Cabin Girl Gwen has some seed which will make the pirate crew shipshape in no time! This lovely story is available in Welsh and in English.

Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
The ultimate pirate story! Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, Captain Flint (the parrot)… Need we say more? The Muppet film version is great, but no substitute for Stevenson’s original.

Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie
We had to include this one! Captain Hook is surely one of the most fearsome fictional pirates. His only fears are the sight of his own blood and the clock-swallowing crocodile who once took a bite of his arm and has pursued him ever since. Tick tock…

Peter Pan in Scarlet, Geraldine McCaughrean
The sequel to Barrie’s classic, endorsed by the Special Trustees of Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital who own the copyright, this book sees Wendy and the Lost Boys (now the Old Boys!) return to Neverland to follow Captain Hook’s treasure map. A must for anyone who wants to know what happened when they all grew up!

Captain Pugwash books, John Ryan
Better known by our more mature students as a TV series, we have a number of Captain Pugwash books in Townhill Library which are well worth a look.

William Dampier: Buccaneer Explorer, Gerald Norris
A bit of real-life swashbuckling here! Dampier led the expedition which saw Alexander Selkirk, the inspiration for Robinson Crusoe, marooned on an island in the Pacific. He circumnavigated the globe three times, but his reputation was tainted with accusations of drunkenness and brutality. The Folio edition on our shelves brings together tales of his adventures.

Pirate the Seal, Brenda Jobling
A bit of a cheat this one as Pirate, as the title suggests is a seal, not a buccaneer! However, this is too beautiful a book to leave off the list on a technicality. It follows the friendship that develops between a lonely boy and his animal playmate. Just lovely!

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