Every kid has something whimsical that they love, and for many, it's pirates. Between treasure maps and braving the open sea, it’s easy to understand why they’re so loved, and why there are so many different children’s pirate books out there. And, honestly, what makes for a better
bedtime story than a thrilling adventure?
Adults already know how
beneficial it is to read to and with kids, and by investing in books with themes and characters they’re genuinely interested in, you’re going to be much more likely to get them engaged (and hopefully help them develop a love for reading). Not to mention, bonding with your kid over their favorite children’s pirate books is just a flat-out good time and it can also set the two of you up for some fun imaginative play acting out your favorite scenes from the stories.
So, if you’re the caregiver of a pirate-loving kid who could use a library refresh, then you definitely need to stock up on some children’s pirate books. Whether they’re still little enough to need board books or they’re learning how to read themselves, there are a lot of fun stories to choose from. Here are a few to help you get your shopping started.
We only include products that have been independently selected by Romper's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article. 1 Pete The Cat & The Treasure Map
This book has three things kids love: the amazing character Pete the Cat, a story about pirates, and a sheet full of stickers. It’s the tale of Captain Pete and his crew as they set sail to search for buried treasure full of jewels and gold (you know, typical pirate stuff). Unfortunately, during their voyage, Pete and his shipmates come across some sea monsters that they have to deal with in order to move forward. Thankfully, Pete’s pretty cool, so chances are very high that he’s able to work his differences out with these monsters, and who knows they may even become friends.
2 Goodnight Pirate
Written to be a bedtime story,
Goodnight Pirate has a similar style to the classic Goodnight Moon, but all of the objects you’ll be saying goodnight to are pirate-specific like a spyglass, parrot, hook, and parts of the ship. Every page of the story is written in rhymes, giving the book a sing-song style that young kids will especially love. Not to mention, it’s full of adorable illustrations featuring the cutest little pirate, his pets, and the moonlight and stars reflecting and sparkling on the dark ocean. It’s also very likely that you and your little one will find a bit of treasure as you sail through the story. 3 Pirates Love Underpants
If there’s one thing that will make most little kids laugh (and most adults, to be honest), it’s underpants, so there’s no doubt that your pirate-loving little one will get a real kick out of this story. It’s about a crew of pirates on a quest to find the “pants of gold” for the ship’s captain’s treasure chest, because what’s a treasure without some golden underwear, right? Throughout the story, the pirates encounter different characters and will have the reader cracking up as the search for the underpants becomes more and more silly and wild. Fair warning, though, your child may declare one of their pairs of underwear treasure as a result of this book.
4 We’re Going On A Treasure Hunt
Available in either board book or hardback format,
We’re Going on a Treasure Hunt follows a crew of animal pirates as they sail out in search of treasure. As they float along, they’ll come across whales, skeletons, a thunderstorm, and more little dangers (but don’t worry, everyone comes out okay in the end). Each page features an adorably illustrated picture and the text throughout the story is written in rhythmic rhymes that kids will definitely enjoy. Not to mention, one of the crewmembers is a pirate sloth, and who wouldn’t want to read a book that includes such an amazing character? 5 The Little Pirate Queen The Little Pirate Queen follows a little girl named Lucy who builds a little raft and takes it out into the open water as she sails to reach “Far Away Island” with some other kids. Unfortunately, a huge wave comes in and washes the other kids away so it’s up to Lucy to save them all. The little heroine spends the book going to great lengths to rescue her friends and works together with them to make sure everyone safely reaches the island. It’s a cute story all around, but it’s also a great lesson on the importance of helping others. 6 How To Be A Pirate How to be a Pirate follows CeCe, a little girl who wants nothing more than to be a pirate, but the little boys in her neighborhood tell her that she can’t. So, since they won’t help her learn how to be a pirate, she recruits her grandpa who she is sure can help her because he has a bunch of tattoos. Throughout the story, CeCe and her grandpa go off on fun adventures as he tells her the stories behind each of his tattoos. By the end of the book, CeCe learns that there are so many ways to be a pirate by being brave, independent, fun, quick, and believing in yourself. 7 Pirate Mom
What’s cooler than a regular mom? A Pirate Mom. At least, that’s what Pete thinks, especially because his mom thinks pirates are uncivilized. But, when she’s hypnotized to believe that she is actually a pirate, Pete discovers that having a pirate mom is hard work because she doesn’t behave. Throughout the story, Pete’s mom is chasing neighbors, flying over the house, and stealing things. Now, Pete has to find the person who hypnotized her so that it can be undone and he can have his regular non-pirate mom back for good. Needless to say, kids who love pirates will have plenty to laugh at and enjoy with this book.
8 Where’s The Pirate
Your baby or toddler doesn’t even have to be a fan of pirates to love this book (though, it certainly doesn’t hurt if they are) because it’s a flipbook that little ones will get a thrill from. Each page has its own felt flap that covers up a different object like a monkey on the pirate ship and the pirate on a deserted island. Then, at the end of the book, there’s even a mirror under a flap for your tot to see themselves in. It’s a great way for them to play with different textures, do a little exploring, and fall (more) in love with all things pirate.
9 The Pirates Are Coming!
This book is a new take on the
classic story about the boy who cried wolf, but instead of wolves, this little boy is always on the lookout for pirates at sea. It follows Tom whose job is to stand on a hill with a bell to watch for pirates. Unfortunately, he gets a little bell happy and constantly yells “PIRATES!” to get a rise out of the villagers, even though there are no pirates. As expected, though, a ship of pirates really do show up to the village, but none of the villagers run off to hide because they’ve heard Tom’s fibs before. Now, he has to find a way to protect everyone (and hopefully learn a good lesson in the process). 10 Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC
What better way to learn your ABCs than with the help of some pirates?
Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC follows a brave crew of animal pirates who are on a mission from their captain to capture every letter of the alphabet after he realizes that the only letter they seem to use is “R” (get it? “arrrrr”). It’s a big quest, and if the crew doesn’t succeed in getting every letter, they’ll have to walk the plank. As the story goes on, your little one can learn to identify their ABCs as they help the pirates find them all for the captain. 11 Pinkalicious & The Pirates
With this book, kids get the beloved character Pinkalicious, a story about pirates, and text that’s
written specifically for new readers. What more could they want? The story follows Pinkalicious and her little brother, Peter, as they go on an adventure to a hidden cove where they are hoping to find their mini-mermaid friend, Aqua. Unfortunately, when they arrive, it’s not Aqua they find but a crew of pirates. Now the siblings have to befriend the pirates so that they will help them find their missing mermaid friend. The book is written for level 1 readers (so it has a lot of sight words and other words that are easy to sound out) but is still enjoyable for younger kids who aren’t quite ready to read on their own. 12 Pirates Don't Go to Kindergarten!
Emma is a pirate who was quite happy in her pre-school room with her teacher Cap’n Chu, so when it's time for her to move up to kindergarten, she decides that it’s just not for pirates. So, instead of embracing her new captain (teacher) and crew (classmates), Emma sneaks back down the hallway to reunite with Cap’n Chu where she’s comfortable. Of course, it doesn’t take long for Emma to realize that her refusal to go to kindergarten isn’t because she’s not ready for it, but because it’s something new and different. Overall, it’s a very cute story of pirate resistance and it’s especially great for kiddos who are nervous about moving into a new school or classroom.
13 The Grumpy Pirate
We all have grumpy days, but every day seems to be grumpy for Gus the pirate, and it’s really starting to bum out his crew. In this story, Gus spends every day complaining about his lumpy bed, his chores, the food on the ship, the clothes he has to wear, and even manages to finds something to complain about as the ship sails towards buried treasure. Eventually, the Queen Pirate has to step in, and she gives him a pet parrot that squawks every one of Gus’ complaints right back to him. It doesn’t take long for Gus to realize just how negative he’s been and that he needs to turn his attitude around.
14 How I Became a Pirate How I Became A Pirate follows Jeremy, a little boy who boards a pirate ship, ready for adventure. At first, the voyage is a blast, he gets to sing fun songs, throw food, and say funny pirate words. However, it doesn’t take too long for Jeremy to realize that it’s not all fun and games being a pirate, especially since they don’t get bedtime stories and goodnight kisses. It’s a seriously sweet story to read with your kids. Not only that, but the book is filled with some of the most beautiful illustrations you’ll ever find in a children’s book. 15 Pirates vs. Monsters
Pirates love to share stories of the perils they’ve faced on their journies, but have you ever wondered if these tales are a bit exaggerated? In
Pirates vs. Monsters, Hector, Sue, and George are three pirates who have braved many dangerous situations, particularly ones where they’re fighting monsters, and have always come out on top. Except, their stories aren’t entirely true, which is why some of those monsters have come to town to tell their own stories. This book is a lot of fun and has some really unique illustrations throughout, so it’s definitely one your kiddo will ask to read again and again.
Now that you have some fantastic pirate books to choose from, the hardest part will be narrowing down the many options. Whatever you end up choosing, just be prepared to read the book over and over again because your little pirate won’t be able to get enough.