Best pirate books for little swashbucklers

Ahoy there matey! Sail the high seas with these swashbuckling stories, perfect for young pirates in the making.

Best pirate books for little swashbucklers

Pirate Books

The Pirates Next Door

Written and illustrated by Jonny Duddle, Candlewick Press (Ages 4-8) The sleepy town of Dull-on-Sea comes alive in a flurry of gossip when the Jolly-Rogers move in. But will the town’s opinion of pirates change with the Jolly-Rogers’ one last surprise?  Available at:, $18

the pirates next doorCandlewick Press

Pirates Magnified

Written by David Long and illustrated by Harry Bloom, Wide Eyed Editions (Ages 5-8) Learn what life on the high seas was really like with this search-and-find adventure book, filled to the brim with pirate facts and trivia. Armed with their own die-cut magnifying glass, pirate-obsessed kids can hunt through each beautiful illustration to discover over 200 hidden objects and learn the stories of history’s most notorious pirates.  Available at:, $28

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersWide Eyed Editions


How To Be a Pirate

Written by Sue Fliess and illustrated by Nikki Dyson, Random House Children’s Books (Ages 2-5) Ahoy landlubbers! Learn the ins and outs of pirate life as you board the captain’s ship. Pick up pirate lingo, escape the scallywags and search for treasure in this rhyming guide to a high-seas excitement. Available at:, $7

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersRandom House Children's Books

Ten Little Pirates

Written Mike Brownlow and illustrated by Simon Rickerty, Orchard Books (AGES 0-5) Ten little pirates set out for treasure, but when along comes an albatross, soon there are nine! Will any pirate make it to the precious loot? Count down from ten and back up again in this fun rhyming tale.  Available at:, $10

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersOrchard Books

Grandma and the Pirates

Written and illustrated by Phoebe Gilman, Scholastic (Ages 5-8) Grandma’s noodle pudding is so tasty, the pirates kidnap her, her parrot Oliver and her granddaughter Melissa! Trapped on a ship with the mean and motley crew, the cunning Melissa devises a plan for escape. Available at:, $7

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersScholastic


That’s Not My Pirate

Written by Fiona Watt and illustrated by Rachel Wells, Usborne Books (AGES 1+) Have you ever wondered what a pirate’s beard feels like? Find out in the textured pages of this touchy-feely book.  Available at:, $28

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersUsborne Books

Pirate Princess

Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Jill McElmurry, HarperCollins (Ages 4-8) Tired of tea parties and playing dolls, Princess Bea is thrilled when Captain Jack invites her aboard his ship—until she’s made to cook and clean for the crew! With a little girl power and ingenuity, will Bea’s hidden talents be enough to prove she’s got what it takes to sail the seven seas? Available at:, $22

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersHarperCollins

Tough Borris

Written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Kathryn Brown, Houghton Mifflin Court (Ages 4) All is not what it seems in this sweet story about a boy who finds the unexpected when he sneaks onto the ship of Tough Boris von der Borch, the roughest pirate in town. Can a pirate really be kind? Do they really share their treasure? Maybe first impressions aren’t always right. Available at:, $10

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersHoughton Mifflin Harcourt


Dirty Joe, the Pirate: A True Story

Written by Bill Harley and illustrated by Jack E. Davis, HarperCollins (Ages 9-12) Dirty Joe and his motley band of pirates sail the seas in search of the most precious treasure—dirty socks! All is fun and games for the odorous crew until they come face-to-face with another piratical gang, led by the one and only Stinky Annie. Who will sail away victorious in this smelly showdown? Available at:, $22

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersHarperCollins

I Love My Pirate Papa

Written by Laura Leuck and illustrated by Kyle M. Stone, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (AGES 0-3) A sweet story of a little boy and his dad—who just happens to be one of biggest pirates on the high seas. While the little boy learns important things like “X” marks the spot and when to yell “avast!” perhaps the most important lesson is that the most precious treasure can often be found right by your side.  Available at:, $10

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersHoughton Mifflin Harcourt

The Pirate Pig

Written by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Kerstin Meyer, Random House Children’s Books (Ages 7-10) Julie is one special pig. After finding her washed up on shore, Stout Sam and his deckhand, Pip soon discover her ability to sniff out treasure. However, when word gets out about the magical pig and she’s kidnapped by the wicked pirate Barracuda Bill, Sam and Pip set out on a journey to get her back. From the acclaimed author of Inkheart comes another mystical story of friendship and adventure. Availble at:, $7

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersRandom House Children's Books


How I Became a Pirate

Written by Melinda Long and illustrated by David Shannon, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (Age 4) When little Jeremy Jacobs joins the crew of Captain Braid Beard, he learns a thing or two about what it means to be a pirate. From how to say “scurvy dog” to singing the songs of the sea, Jeremy learns what it takes to live the life of a buccaneer. But who will tuck in him at night when the day of pirating is done? Available at:, $17

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersHoughton Mifflin Harcourt

Peter Pan

Written by J.M. Barrie, Puffin Books (Ages 9-12) Fly away with Tinkerbell, the Darlings and the boy who never grew up to Neverland, a place of dreams and make believe. But keep an eye out for the foul Captain Hook and his crew of wicked pirates as they disrupt the innocence of Peter’s magical home.  Available at:, $9

Peter pan cover artPuffin Books

Pirates Love Underpants

Written by Claire Freedman and illustrated by Ben Cort, Aladdin (Ages 4-7) It’s a ragtag race to the coveted Pants of Gold in this silly, rhyming story. Filled with pirates, puns and treasure, join the captain’s underpants-obsessed crew as they seek their most precious prize.  Available at:, $24

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersAladdin


The Pirate Jamboree

Written and illustrated by Mark Teague, Orchard Books (Ages 3-5) Join the ruckus of Blackbeard Johnson, Eyepatch Sue, Cap’n Gunderboom as they search for treasure, fire their cannons and cause all kinds of hoopla at the pirate jamboree. However, when the S.S. CLEAN YOUR ROOM shows up, you know the fun and games must come to an end…until the next pirate jamboree! A great rhyming read-aloud for a buccaneer bedtime. Available at:, $23

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersOrchard Books

Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC

Written by June Sobel and illustrated by Henry Cole, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (AGES 4) Pirates already have plenty of Rs, but that’s not enough to make them truly tough! Tag along with the captain’s crew as they attempt to capture every letter from A to Z. Written in short, snappy rhymes, this illustrated treasure hunt is a fun I-Spy for young readers just learning their alphabet.   Available at:, $10

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersHoughton Mifflin Harcourt

The Pirate Girl’s Treasure: An Origami Adventure

Written by Peyton Leung and illustrated by Hilary Leung, Kids Can Press (Ages 4-8) Pirate Girl travels over mountains, through valleys and caves and over the shark-filled sea in search of the treasure her beloved grandfather has left for her. Along the way, the little adventurer is accompanied by the ever transforming single sheet of paper, folded into the scenery. Look to the back of the book for instructions on how to fold your own sheet of paper into a mountain, boat, pirate shirt and more! Available at:, $21

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersKids Can Press


Pirate’s Passage

Written by William Gilkerson, Shambhala Publications Inc. (Ages 9-12) A pirate tale set on the shores of Canada’s east coast! In 1950s Nova Scotia, small inn owner Jim and his mother take in the mysterious Captain Charles Johnson after his boat is washed ashore. The Captain tells young Jim many stories of pirates and life at sea, inspiring Jim to find an adventure of his own. An enthralling coming-of-age story filled with mystery, imagination and, of course, pirates. Available at:, $17

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersShambhala Publications Inc.

Good Night Pirate Ship

Written by Adam Gamble and Mark Jasper and illustrated by Cooper Kelly, Good Night Books (AGES 0-3) Part of the Good Night Our World series, Good Night Pirate Ship takes a dive into the high seas and explores all aspects of pirate life. From treasure chests to cannonballs, learn the ins and outs of a swashbuckler’s day before tucking in to dream your pirate dreams! Available at:, $10

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersGood Night Books

Treasure Island

Written by Robert Louis Stevenson, Alma Classics (Ages 12+) When young Jim Hawkins discovers a mysterious treasure map, he embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to retrieve the buried riches. But will the greedy pirate Long John Silver get to it first? Filled with an unforgettable cast of characters and fast paced high-seas excitement, Treasure Island is a literary classic that is sure to enthrall readers both young and old. Available at:, $13

Best pirate books for little swashbucklersAlma Classics

Read more: Top 100 children's books of all time Kids' birthday cake ideas: Pirate ship Birthday party ideas: Pirate theme

This article was originally published on Sep 18, 2018

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