PPBF: Pirates vs. Cowboys

PiratesVCowboys Author: Aaron Reynolds
Illustrator: David Barneda
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
Ages: 5-8yrs
Themes: pirates, cowboys, communication
Opening: Burnt Beard the Pirate was the scourge of the seven seas, the four oceans, and several lakes.His scurvy crew had ransacked so many ships and pillaged so many villages that all their treasure had them riding low and slow. It was time to go ashore and bury the booty.
Summary: (from my Aaron Reynold’s website) It’s a bad, sad day when Burnt Beard the pirate and his scurvy crew swagger into the town of Old Cheyenne. They run smack-dab into Black Bob McKraw and his posse of horn-swagglin’ varmints. Trouble is none of these cowboys can speak Pirate. And none of those pirates can speak Cowboy! And that’s a recipe for trouble. Can anybody bring this explosive situation to a sweet smelling end?

Preliminary sketch for the cover

I like this book because: it’s got language! Haha! Pirate and cowboy talk, and therefore this is THE perfect read-aloud for anyone who loves to get into voice. It also shows that misunderstandings are not always obvious, and solutions can come with something as simple as a bath! The illustrations are hilarious, though sometimes I found a few details that were too dark to pick up (good excuse to read again, though!).


Resources/activities: discuss how language and lack of understanding could cause strife, and ask students what solutions they can think of to bridge a gap; fun book to read for a unit on migration; discuss how one language can have such different dialects – how is that possible?; draw your own pirates or cowboys using animals that have a geo graphical connection; read the book for Sept.19th – Int’l. Talk Like a Pirate Day – more info HERE


For more Perfect Picture Book picks with teacher/parent resources, check out the list on Susanna Hill’s blog HERE

My new favorite character: Pegleg Highnoon