Best Kids Books About Pirates

The 26 best books about pirates!

Updated Jan. 25, 2019

Pirates have become a rather interesting group of characters for us to read about. Particularly unique is their fun jargon. Below you will find the best books about pirates, their adventures and their loot! We hope you enjoy the gander through these ventures as much as we do, Matey!

Twenty-six Pirates book
#1
Twenty-six Pirates
Written and illustrated by Dave Horowitz
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This is a funny and spunky alphabet book, complete with rhymes that aren't always perfect, and cut paper illustrations that are more edgy than sweet. It's a very fun read aloud and elicits plenty of giggles from my two-year-old boy, who loves this one "again" and "again". Look for the funny frogs throughout the book—they have great facial expressions. Note: I don't believe there is any such thing as a "boy book" or "girl book", but this book does have only boy pirates and has what some might characterize as "little boy humor."

Dave Horowitz’s swashbuckling cut-paper artwork is packed with clever details in this epic companion to his popular Twenty-six Princesses. This rhyming alphabet book is chock full of fun as 26 mischievous pirates head to Captain Frogbeard’s ship where they hope to join the crew—and the fun! From Arty to Zach, the Pirates of the Alphabet are the most colorful crew on the high seas!

The Gingerbread Pirates book
#2
The Gingerbread Pirates
Written by Kristin Kladstrup and illustrated by Matt Tavares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

This was a fun and entirely original take on gingerbread men at Christmas and will thrill your little one's imaginations with the daring of what one little cookie can accomplish. I was a little nervous about whether I'd like this book, but in the end, my heart was softened to this book, just like Captain Cookie's was towards Santa Claus.

What if a brave Captain Cookie stood up to Santa? A fresh, funny story that sparkles with all the excitement of a pirate adventure — and all the magic of Christmas morning. (Ages 4-10) A funny and magical Christmas story about a gingerbread pirate, Captain Cookie, and his daring adventure on Christmas eve to rescue his crew from a mysterious cannibal named Santa Claus…

Are You the Pirate Captain? book
#3
Are You the Pirate Captain?
Written by Gareth P. Jones and illustrated by Garry Parsons
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

I like the illustrations in this book and like that they're trying to find the perfect pirate captain for their crew, but the rhyming scheme was a little more complex and changed quite a bit, which I thought took away from the flow. Fun read, and fun that there's a song at the end!

First Mate Hugh has the whole crew and the pirate ship ready, but they can't set sail until they find a captain! Come on this swashbuckling adventure as Hugh and his scurvy seadogs try to find the perfect pirate for the job. Rather than a peg leg or a hook, it turns out that what their captain needs is the brains to lead! Endpages adorned with lively pirate songs make this book a seaworthy tale from beginning to end!

Pirate's Lullaby book
#4
Pirate's Lullaby
Written by Marcie Wessels and illustrated by Tim Bowers
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is a fun book full of rhyming and pirate talk. I love the references used that relate to bedtime (or trying to escape bedtime) and pirate adventures. You will definitely experience a load of fun with your little one as you read this before bed.

"Yo ho ho! It's bedtime, but first it's mutiny! This little pirate will do anything to avoid going to sleep. Read along in fun pirate lingo as our young swashbuckler stows his toys in his "treasure chest", searches for his best "mate" (peg-legged Captain Teddy), plays a game of "walk the plank", and reads a few bedtime stories from "Davy Jones's Locker". Will Papa Pirate ever get his little one to catch "forty winks"? Young pirate fans will love this funny, rhyming bedtime story as they laugh along with the little pirate's plots to stay up. It's sure to get every young reader into his "bunk" night after night."

Shiver Me Timbers! book
#5
Shiver Me Timbers!
Written by Douglas Florian and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

A rollicking collection of pirate poems and illustrations features a motley assortment of scoundrels, scalawags and scurvy mates who engage in battles, treasure hunts and favorite pirate meals. By the award-winning author of Comet, Stars, the Moon and Mars.

The Treasure of Pirate Frank book
#6
The Treasure of Pirate Frank
Written by Elspeth Graham, Mal Peet and illustrated by Jez Tuya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A boy and his dog set sail in search of treasure, braving stormy seas, mountains snowy and cold, the forest where the monkeys swing, the swamp where the bullfrogs sing, and other challenging obstacles, before finally reaching the end of their quest—the treasure of Pirate Frank. But there’s a surprise in store when they discover that Pirate Frank is a girl. And no one is going to steal her treasure!

Pirate Jack Gets Dressed book
#7
Pirate Jack Gets Dressed
Written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Allison Black
picture book
Recommend Ages: 0-8

Ahoy, matey! Join jaunty pirate Captain Jack as he uses every color of the rainbow to pick out his outfit in this bright and bold read-aloud. It’s the crack o’ dawn, and dapper Pirate Jack is ready t’ get dressed for a day out on the high seas with his motley crew. He’ll need every color of the rainbow to make his outfit complete—from his itchy gray long johns and his toasty pink socks to his bright red sash and his cozy purple coat. And he won’t be forgettin’ his black eye patch and trusty brown peg leg, either! But just as he’s about to step outside, he realizes he’s still missing one color: green! Thank goodness a certain feathered friend is ready to jump from her swing and onto his shoulder to complete his colorful look. Squawk!

Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates book
#8
Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates
Written by April Jones Prince and illustrated by Steven Salerno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A fun and clever picture book retelling of Goldilocks—with pirates! Once upon a seaworthy sloop lived three pirates: the big, pilfering Papa, the medium-sized, menacing Mama, and the small, bonny Baby, a pirate-in-training. They were excellent pirates, but not very good housekeepers, so their gruel wasn't tasty, their stools weren't sturdy, and their hammocks weren't hung properly. Luckily for them, Goldenlocks happened along when they were out for a row in the harbor. April Jones Prince's rollicking text and Steven Salerno's swashbuckling paintings make Goldenlocks and the Three Pirates a first-rate adventure and a spirited take on Goldilocks.

Pocket Bios: Blackbeard book
#9
Pocket Bios: Blackbeard
Written and illustrated by Al Berenger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A colorfully illustrated, pocket-size picture book biography of the notorious English pirate Blackbeard. Blackbeard, born Edward Teach, was a notorious and much-feared English pirate who famously conquered and captained the Queen Anne's Revenge and prowled the seas around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain's North American colonies. Rather than ruling through force and bloody intimidation, it's believed that Blackbeard largely let his fierce image and reputation drive his success. Pocket Bios are full of personality, introducing readers to fascinating figures from history with simple storytelling and cheerful illustrations. Titles include men and women from history, exploration, the sciences, the arts, the ancient world, and more.

Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck book
#10
Pirate Chicken: All Hens on Deck
Written by Brain Yanish and illustrated by Jess Pauwels
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Lily is no ordinary chicken. She dreams of a life off the farm, where she can put her grand plans into action. Her wish is granted when pirates recruit her and her fellow chickens and whisks them away to the open seas. Soon, Lily has taken charge and becomes captain of an allchicken crew as the feared chicken pirate Redfoot. But when Lily faces a mutiny, will she change her ways, or be forced to squawk the plank?

Trick ARRR Treat: A Pirate Halloween book
#11
Trick ARRR Treat: A Pirate Halloween
Written by Leslie Kimmelman and illustrated by Jorge Monlongo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Charlotte Blue-Tongue, Peg-Leg Pete, Glass-Eyed Gabby, and their friends swashbuckle through the streets demanding loot and treasure from their neighbors in this Halloween pirate tale. As their world transforms from neighborhood to pirate’s lagoon, they shout, “We be pirates. TRICK ARRR TREAT!” But what’s lurking in the shadows? Are the pirates brave enough to defend their treasure?

Sunk! book
#12
Sunk!
Written and illustrated by Rob Biddulph
picture book
Recommend Ages: -

A pirate hat. A sunny day. For Penguin Blue A game to play... Penguin Blue is back in a swashbuckling new adventure about pirates, treasure, and friendship. While sailing the seven seas Captain Blue and his friends are unexpectedly sunk! But with a shipwreck to explore and a mysterious stranger on a desert island to meet, they might still find some treasure after all. The follow-up to the bestselling and award-winning Blown Away.

Captain Jack and the Pirates book
#13
Captain Jack and the Pirates
Written by Peter Bently and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

The boys from King Jack and the Dragon are back in this swashbuckling pirate adventure with pictures by the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes Jack, Zack, and Caspar are building a ship—on the beach, out of sand. When they set sail on their imaginary adventure, Jack spies an enemy pirate ship nearby. They chase after the pirates, but a storm wrecks their ship and sweeps them up on a desert island. The island isn't totally deserted, though—their pirate enemies are there too. Just as the boys discover the pirates' treasure (an array of delicious desserts), the pirates (their parents) capture them. But these pirates are friendly—they're willing to share the treasure, and they throw in some ice cream just for good measure! Perfect for storytime read-alouds, this picture book is just right for fans of Three Bears in a Boat, How I Became a Pirate, and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt.

Pirates Don't Drive Diggers book
#14
Pirates Don't Drive Diggers
Written by Alex English and illustrated by Duncan Beedie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Digger-mad Brad is not cut out for a pirate's life, instead he dreams of life on a building site. When the Salty Dog sets sail, can he prove to Captain Blood that pirates do drive diggers after all? A rip-roaring rhyming pirate tale for those digger-loving scallywags out there!

Space Boy and the Space Pirate book
#15
Space Boy and the Space Pirate
Written by Dian Regan and illustrated by Robert Neubecker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Niko and his crew embark on an intergalactic adventure to the Planet Zorg, where Niko’s cousin Sasha is being held captive by a space pirate (who is actually Niko’s sister, Posh!). But when Niko and his crew charge in to the rescue, the girls do the unthinkable by capturing his ship and leaving him stranded far from Planet Home. Using his characteristic ingenuity and wit, Niko manages to take back control of his spaceship and his story. With a picture book format, comic book–style artwork, and humorous, simple text, Space Boy and the Space Pirate is both a thrilling adventure and a celebration of the power of pretend play.

Yao Bai and the Egg Pirates book
#16
Yao Bai and the Egg Pirates
Written by Tim J Myers and illustrated by Bonnie Pang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Inspired by the 1863 Egg War and the mad rush for murre eggs on the Farallon Islands near San Francisco, Yao Bai and the Egg Pirates is a high-seas adventure story celebrating the courage and history of Chinese immigrants in America through a fascinating yet little-known event during the California Gold Rush era.

Escape from Haunted Treasure Island book
#17
Escape from Haunted Treasure Island
Written by Michael Anthony Steele and illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates sail to a secret treasure island where they come face to face with pirate ghosts! Will they escape or will they walk the haunted plank?

Battle of the Pirate Bands book
#18
Battle of the Pirate Bands
Written by Michael Anthony Steele and illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Pirates from across the seven seas are gathering for the greatest of pirate competitions. But when the prize trophy is stolen, the Monkey Pirates are framed as the thieves. Can the crew clear their nearly-fearless names? A glossary, discussion questions, and writing prompts round out this exciting adventure story.

Attack of the Zombie Mermaids book
#19
Attack of the Zombie Mermaids
Written by Michael Anthony Steele and illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Captain Banana Beard thinks that finding Neptune's Trident will bring him great fortune. But the treasure carries a curse! What will the Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates do when they come face to face with zombie mermaids?

Hunt for the Octo-shark book
#20
Hunt for the Octo-shark
Written by Michael Anthony Steele and illustrated by Pauline Reeves
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

When the rest of the Nearly Fearless Monkey Pirates don't believe that octo-sharks are real, Captain Banana Beard insists they go on a hunt for the mythical creature. Will the crew discover anything more than trouble in this swashbuckling adventure?

Pirate Pedro book
#21
Pirate Pedro
Written by Fran Manushkin and illustrated by Tammy Lyon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Arg! In this e-book, it's Pirate Day at school. Pedro and his mateys have fun pretending to be pirates at school and home. But who will be captain of the ship?

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas book
#22
A Pirate's Night Before Christmas
Written by Philip Yates and illustrated by Sebastià Serra
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

On a ship of mischievous brigands--who have visions of treasure chests dancing in their heads--Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm, pays a visit to the child-friendly pirates along with his eight giant seahorses: Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger, and Jolly.

Daniela the Pirate book
#23
Daniela the Pirate
Written by Susanna Isern and illustrated by Gomez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Is being a pirate only for boys? That's not what Daniela thinks. Daniela dreams of becoming a pirate on the Black Croc boat, but it seems that the pirates are a little chauvinist. Captain Choppylobe makes Daniela go through diffcult challenges. Will Daniela make it?

The Journey of Captain Scaredy Cat book
#24
The Journey of Captain Scaredy Cat
Written by Jose Carlos Andres and illustrated by Sonja Wimmer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Captain Scaredy Cat was the most daring of all pirates. Not long ago, and no one knows why, the captain started to be scared of everything –even of his shadow. A funny story to help us overcome fear. The pirates come back to a marvellous illustrated album. From the author of Carlota Wouldn’t Say Boo.

Prince and Pirate book
#25
Prince and Pirate
Written by Charlotte Gunnufson and illustrated by Mike Lowery
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

When two little fish with big personalities have to share the same tank, there are rough seas ahead! Prince and Pirate are proud masters of their very own fishbowls, and life goes along swimmingly—until they’re scooped up and plopped into shared waters. Prince is horrified to find this cheeky cod trespassing in his kingdom. Pirate is sure this scurvy sea slug has come to plunder his treasure. Thus, a battle of regal sneers, seaworthy stink-eyes, and off-the-hook insults begins. Prince and Pirate’s hilarious duel for territory will elicit gales of giggles, hearty guffaws, and heartfelt smiles. Just when it seems their struggle might end in a silly stalemate, a little surprise convinces them to find a way to get along—swimmingly.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected] with your book and list suggestion.