I love to make book lists and I thought it would be fun to compile some of our favorite picture books and read alouds about pirates and fairies!
Ye Ol’ Pirate Books
My oldest kids, Benjamin and Lucy, love to play pirates in the backyard. Usually there’s a sizable altercation about who gets to be Captain Hook. Swords are wielded. Epic battles fought. These are some of our favorite library finds featuring pirates:
Pirate vs. Pirate: The Terrific Tale of a Big Blustery Maritime Match by Mary Quattlebaum: Colorful illustrations and a goofy storyline in which all’s well that ends well, this one’s a new find that we’ve been enjoying.
The Pirate Cruncher by Jonny Duddle: This one has become a favorite. It has a plot twist at the end that the kids love. Ok, fine. I love it, too.
Dirty Joe, the Pirate: A True Story by Bill Harley: Another fun library find about warring pirate siblings.
How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long: A little boy named Jeremy Jacob’s family trip to the beach becomes an exciting adventure with pirates. Long’s second pirate book, Pirates Don’t Change Diapers is even more fun with a pirate crew of babysitters helping Jeremy Jacob watch his baby sister.
Small Saul by Ashley Spires: An unlikely pirate finds his niche on his ship after introducing his shipmates to the finer things in life.
Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs by Giles Andreae : Pirates AND dinosaurs? Does it get better than that?
Do Pirates Take Baths? by Kathy Tucker: A very silly rhyming book about frequently asked pirate questions.
The Night Pirates by Peter Harris: A charming book about a little boy named Tom who has an adventure with a crew of tough little girl pirates.
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson: Although the text will be too ambitious for most little ones, a copy with plenty of illustrations would be a fun bedtime read aloud for Kindergarten and up. Pretty much everything in today’s pirate genre comes from this classic of buried gold, treasure maps, and peglegs.
Tales of Fairies
Stories about magic and fairies have always been popular at our house. Until our kids are ready for The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, we’re enjoying picture books and short read alouds together.
Child of Faerie, Child of Earth by Jane Yolen: Illustrated by Jane Dyer, this is a beautiful tale of a human girl and faerie boy who become life-long friends.
An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball by Jane Yolen: A little fairy travels around the forest handing out invitations to adorable little woodland creatures.
Elfabet: An ABC of Elves by Jane Yolen: A delightful alphabet book of fairies with lovely illustrations by Lauren Mills.
The Complete Book of Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker: Barker’s watercolour illustrations in the flower fairy books are stunning!
The Little People: Stories of Fairies, Pixies, and Other Small Folk by Neil Philip: This survey of fairy lore would be interesting for older children (too much for little ones) and contains gorgeous illustrations drawn from classic paintings and art.
Arthur Spiderwick’s Field Guide to the Fantastical World Around You by Holly Black: This is one of our family’s favorite books. It accompanies the Spiderwick Chronicles, a series of children’s books, and Tony DiTerlizzi’s illustrations are wonderful. Long before our oldest child could read, he would spend hours looking at the pictures. It includes fairies, trolls, griffins, and magical creatures of all sorts.
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie: Where the land of fairies meets the adventures of pirates, Peter Pan is the first book I read aloud to my babies during the newborn phase when I’m up late at night with a wakeful infant. I look forward to reading it again in a couple of years to Benjamin and Lucy!
What are some of your favorite pirate and fairy books for children? Any suggestions to add to the lists?
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