By now I'm sure you've heard (and heard, and heard) that today is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Rather than bore you with my pathetic attempts at pirate-speak, I thought I'd share some of my favorite pirate-y stuff for kids.
Captain Bogg and Salty are Portland-bred and well loved by children and adults alike. Our friend likes Bedtime Stories for Pirates best, but their other albums, Pegleg Tango and Prelude to Mutiny, are sure to please as well.
This friendly picture book is perfect for younger kids who find pirates a wee bit creepy. There's nothing scary about Pirate Pete or his gold-hungry ways. If you're looking for a follow-up, check out Pirate Pete's Giant Adventure.
We got our son this Playmobil pirate ship when he was three, which, in retrospect, was too young. The detail is beautiful, but the parts are small and likely to be scattered by preschoolers — at least they were in our house; I still come across a tiny plastic doubloon every now and then. I'd say this ship would be great for 6-8 year-olds, or younger if your kid is the meticulous type (they do exist).
For younger ones, I like this Fisher Price Little People Pirate Ship (see the chubby little hammock?). A few weeks after my son had gotten frustrated with the Playmobil ship, he happened upon the Fisher Price model at a friend's house and played with it for hours.
Pirateology: A Pirate Hunter's Companion: This gorgeous "pirate's journal" with a spinning compass on the cover and intricate maps and illustrations inside will keep fact-hounds entranced. Our neighbor's son carries his book around with him — it has become his greatest treasure. From the makers of Dragonology and Wizardology.
Caitlin mentioned Pirate Girl during our discussion of strong princess characters, and it just so happened I was upstairs reading that very book to my daughter at the time. Cornelia Funke's tale of Molly, a brave little girl who's unintimidated by her pirate captors, is funny and inspiring.
I always keep my eye on the Klutz display at our local children's bookstore (which, if you're ever in Portland, is A Children's Place; you could spend hours there). Klutz: How To Build Pirate Ships is ideal for detail-oriented builders. Especially nice: kids can use the laminated building cards to build any number of vessels, not just the one pictured in the directions.