8 Great Books to Read on International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Arrr ye reading thar pirate books, matey? DDAZ be pickin' 8 tales o' the swashbucklers on the seven seas!

Arrr ye reading thar pirate books, matey? Delta Dental of Arizona be pickin’ 8 tales o’ the swashbucklers on the seven seas!

There’s one activity most families do each night after they brush their teeth and before they turn in at night: read a bedtime story!

In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19, we’ve chosen 8 books about these notoriously toothless swashbucklers that you’re sure to enjoy! Several even mention pirates’ horrible oral hygiene!

Ages 2-5:

  • How to be a Pirate by Sue Fliess – Little landlubbers get to earn their sea legs on a pirate ship amidst the goofiest pirates ever. We love the fun rhymes like, “No more toothpaste! Farewell, bath! Once ye choose the pirate path!”
  • Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting – After reading his favorite book about a pirate boy, Danny wonders what would happen if he sailed away on a pirate ship. Luckily, his mother reassures him that she would find him, even if she had to ride on a dolphin, battle sea monsters, and wield a bottle of magical pirate-shrinking spray to do it!

Ages 4-8:

  • The Pirate Who Couldn’t Say Arrr! by Angie Neal – Written by a speech pathologist, this fun book recounts how Red Legs Lamar learned how to roar the most famous of pirate expressions.
  • How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long – “Pirates have green teeth—when they have any teeth at all. I know about pirates, because one day, when I was at the beach building a sand castle and minding my own business, a pirate ship sailed into view.” So proclaims Jeremy Jacob, a boy who joins Captain Braid Beard and his crew in this witty look at the finer points of pirate life by the Caldecott Honor–winning illustrator David Shannon and the storyteller Melinda Long.

Ages 6-12:

  • Pirate School: The Curse of Snake Island by Brian James – Welcome to Pirate School, where Pete and his friends live aboard a ship called the Sea Rat. The kids all hope to become real pirates, but there’s one problem: a nasty first mate named Rotten Tooth who will do anything to stop them from learning!
  • Pirates by John Matthews – In this ultimate book of pirates, kids will read about Blackbeard and Captain Kidd. They’ll also discover what it was like aboard a pirate ship—from a pirates strict code of conduct to the punishments that awaited those that broke them.


  • The World Atlas of Pirates by Angus Konstam – Pirate expert Angus Konstam explains how piracy grew and flourished from the early buccaneers to the rogues of popular legends, how it has been snuffed out and how it has reared its head again with the machine-gun toting pirates on today’s high seas.
  • The Pirate Hunter: The True Story of Captain Kidd by Richard Zacks – Captain Kidd has gone down in history as America’s most ruthless buccaneer. It turns out that most everyone, even respected scholars, have the story all wrong. Captain Kidd was no career cut-throat; he was a touch, successful New York sea captain who was hired to chase pirates.

Haven’t had enough? Plunder our archives and learn why it’s important to talk like a pirate, not to treat your teeth like one!

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