Sunday, September 19, 2010

Avast, me hearties! It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

We interrupt our regular programming for this important public service announcement...

September 19 is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Yes, me beauties, you heard me right. It's time to kick up your heels, swab the decks, and put your scurvy luck to the test. Add some pluck and swagger to your day and pay tribute to the dastardly blaggards who roamed the Seven Seas!

Talk Like a Pirate

Finding kid-friendly pirate talk might prove to be a bit tricky on the internet. You can check out this link for some kid-friendly, swashbuckling conversation starters. Arrr.

Read Like a Pirate

There are many pirate-based offerings for children. Some are pure fictional fancy; some are full of adventure and daring-do; others are overflowing with historical context and lore. We have a few favourites:

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

This story of childhood courage in the face of nefarious villainy stands the test of time. If you can get your hands on the N.C. Wyeth illustrated version, do. It's wonderful.

"Climb aboard for the swashbuckling adventure of a lifetime. Treasure Islandhas enthralled (and caused slight seasickness) for decades. The names Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins are destined to remain pieces of folklore for as long as children want to read Robert Louis Stevenson's most famous book. With it's dastardly plot and motley crew of rogues and villains, it seems unlikely that children will ever say no to this timeless classic." --Naomi Gesinger

Arrr, if ever there was a bunch of scurvy, villainous rogues, it's Captain Abdul and his band of rather silly pirates.

There are three Captain Abdul pictures books created by Colin NcNaughton:
Jolly Roger and the Pirates of Captain Abdul
Captain Abdul's Pirate School
Captain Abdul's Little Treasure

I'll leave you with a teaser: "Pirates are irresistible, and in McNaughton's third Captain Abdul adventure, they're particularly wonderful."


"Avast, ye PIRATEOLOGY fans! Behold, an exclusive guide to the goings-on aboard a pirate vessel — plus an exciting scale model of a real pirate ship. How do pirates capture a ship? What sort of ships do they favor? Who are the rogues that make up a pirate crew — and how do they entertain themselves, or punish each other? After poring through a twenty-four-page book that presents a true taste of life aboard a pirate vessel, young pirate hunters can turn their skills to assembling a model of a typical pirate ship. With this sturdy ship model at hand, savvy pirate hunters are sure to spot any scurvy dogs from leagues away. Aar!"

Pirates by John Matthews

"At last the ultimate book of pirates is here! Inside is the stuff of legend, where tales of adventure and intrigue are written in blood. Read about Blackbeard and Captain Kidd. Learn about walking the plank and buried treasure. Discover what was like aboard a pirate ship -- from a pirate's strict code of conduct to the punishments that awaited those that broke them."

The Barefoot Book of Pirates

From School Library Journal: "Pirate tales with an international flavor are the focus of this collection. While yarns from Europe predominate, folklore from Japan and Morocco lends a broader scope. An entry from Ireland about the notorious Grace O'Malley balances somewhat the otherwise male representation. Source notes indicate that Walker has extensively researched the genre in order to make his uncommon selections." - Rosalyn Pierini

The Amazing World of Pirates by Philip Steele

"Take a look back at what it was like to be a pirate; find out who they were and how they lived, and learn of their swashbuckling adventures. Discover what it was really like to sail the Seven Seas in a creaking timber sailing ship, to dodge angry naval patrols and capture a Spanish galleon filled with gold and gems. Practical piratical projects show you how to serve up hard tack crackers, make a treasure chest, fashion a cutlass, dress like a pirate captain and much much more. This fascinating and exciting voyage of discovery crosses the centuries and takes you from the Caribbean to the South China Sea on a series of adventures you will never forget."

Pirate Passage by William Gilkerson

"Off the coast of Nova Scotia in 1952, fierce winds force a small boat into port. The boat's pilot, the eccentric Captain Charles Johnson, takes up residence at the small inn run by Jim and his mother. With each day, the captain's presence becomes more valuable to the family as they struggle to keep the inn open for business—and his background becomes more mysterious as Jim discovers how much he knows about the lives and battles of the old-time pirates.

"Who is this man whose compelling stories bring to life in such detail the day-to-day experience of sailing on a pirate ship? And how can he possibly know so much about how it feels to grow up among the Vikings; about how Francis Drake and Queen Elizabeth plotted their victories; about the loves of Grace O'Malley, the pirate queen of Ireland?"

For other book choices, check out these links:

Pirate Books for Kids

The Very Best Pirate Books for Kids

Pirate Books

National Geographic's list of Books for Buccaneers

Watch Like a Pirate

Get out your spyglasses, me maties. There are many films about pirates that are suitable for family viewing (but always use your own discretion and knowledge of your kidlets).

Muppet Treasure Island Avast and Ahoy! We love this film version of Treasure Island. It's truly fun and fantastic and not too scary for younger kids.

Walt Disney's Treasure Island Robert Newton is Long John Silver - wonderful film adaptation of the book that must be seen! It's from the good ol' days of Disney.

Pippi in the South Seas Nothing is better than watching Swedish-speaking pirates dubbed in english. In this film, the dubbing is part of the magic. It's simply wonderful.

Captain Horatio Hornblower Can anything beat Gregory Peck in seafarin' gear? I thought not.

And you all know about those Johnny Depp movies?

Other classics:

A High Wind in Jamaica with James Coburn and Anthony Quinn
Captain Blood with Errol Flynn
Mutiny on the Bounty with Clark Gable

And if that list of fabulous visual booty doesn't quite fill your treasure chest, check out The Complete List of Every Pirate Movie Ever Made.

Special Treat: Phineas and Ferb's The Ballad of Bad Beard

Sing Like a Pirate

You could put on your copy of Pirates of Penzance (grab a score to go along with it). Or you can just sing along to this YouTube video.

Or this one (great for younger kids).

Now, me hearties,you've been initiated into the pirates' creed, you can put a big sign on your front door:

Here Thar Be Pirates

Or maybe not.