Monday, August 16, 2010

Party like a PIRATE!!! ARRR

What is so appealing about pirates?  I mean, besides Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow - oh and Orlando Bloom as Will Turner!  Is it the lack of washing, schedules and responsibilities?  Is it the loud and sometimes naughty songs?  The colorful clothing and weaponry or adventures as they search for treasure?  When we look carefully into what pirates actually are - thieves, kidnappers and sometimes, even murderers - they do not seem very nice at all.

But, Jack Sparrow and his predecessor, Long John Silver, are pirates with hearts of gold, and a hunger for the cold yellow metal.  They are scamps and rascals and not entirely to be trusted.  But when the chips are down and it comes to a BIG decision, well, they usually choose the right course of action - away from cowardly villainy, toward kindness and courage. These are the pirates we pretend to be - lawless, free, brave and gallant.

Tomorrow night, Tuesday, August 17th, from 6:30  to 7:30 pm, it's the golden hearted scamps I want to see at our Pirates HO! party.  Join the Parkland Community Library staff and volunteers as we make pirate crafts, walk the plank, get pirate names, and help tell pirate stories.  Come dressed as a pirate, if you can, for an hour of fun and piratical hi-jinks.

To get ready, here are some excellent pirate books for all ages.

That's Not My Pirate... written by Fiona Watts.  Textured pages let little ones explore scarves, beards, eyepatches and other pirate garb until the right pirate is found.

A Year on a Pirate Ship by Elizabeth Havercroft.  Each page pictures activities for a month of the year and a couple of items for young readers to find in the crowded illustrations.

Roger, the Jolly Pirate by Brett Helquist.  Roger is too pleasant to be a REAL pirate but when he is stuck in the hold during a battle with the Admiral, his attempt to bake a cake saves the day - AND creates a brand new pirate flag, the Jolly Roger.  Helquist's pictures make this clever story even more exciting.

Dirty Joe, the pirate : a true story by Bill Harley.  Dirty Joe terrorizes the seas in his quest for dirty socks until he meets his big sister, a worse pirate than Dirty Joe in every way.

Henry & the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi.  Book loving Henry disappoints his father, Captain Barnacle Blackear, until Henry's book learning helps out in a storm.

For readers who want true life adventure, here are books that explain what a pirate's life was really like.

Piracy & Plunder : a murderous business by Milton Meltzer.  Meltzer gives readers the history, lifestyles and fates of pirates in this book for older readers.

Piratology : the sea journal of Captain William Lubber, pirate hunter general by Dugald A. Steer.  This attractive book includes flaps, small booklets, fold-out pages and maps that purport to explain how pirates behaved.  The book is great for middle grade readers and fun for young pirates to look at.

You wouldn't want to be a pirate's prisoner! : horrible things  you'd rather not know, written by John Malam.  Part of the You wouldn't want to be... series, this book delves into the seamiest sides of pirate life, including shackles and chains, flogging and beating, and disease and death.  YUCK!  For readers with better stomachs!

And now for a pirate chant!  Be prepared to shout this tomorrow night:

Yo Ho Ho!  Yo Ho Ho!
I'm a pirate from me head to me toe.
Yo Ho Ho!  Yo Ho Hi!
I'll be a pirate 'til the day I die!  ARRRRRRRRRRR

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