“Ms. V, you should always dress like a pirate!”

by Vicky on June 15, 2010

That’s what one of the parents told me after this week’s Page Presents story-time class.  How cool is that?

I got to unleash my inner Pirate for two days in a row, because I led a library tour/story-time for kids from a nearby day school on Thursday,  and I had our weekly Page Presents story-time class on Friday.

Mr. Matt got everyone in the mood by leading the kids in a rousing chorus of pirate talk, including “Aaaaaarrrrrrrrrgh!” “Shiver me timbers” and “Swab the deck!”  We explained that sailors sang to help pass the time and also to make sure that everyone hauled on the ropes in unison.  We taught them the refrain of Haul on the Bowline and gave them a rope to hold as we swayed back and forth to the beat.  Then we got them to practice their swaggering and swashbuckling to The Coast of High Barbary.

Our featured story was The Pirate’s Parrot, by Lyn Rossiter-McFarland and illustrated by James McFarland.  The seeing-eye parrot of Captain Cur has dropped dead, and the grieving captain has dropped — and accidentally crushed underfoot — his monocle.  This renders him nearly blind, which is why he doesn’t notice that the package his bungling sailors steal as a replacement contains a teddy bear, not a bird.  His quick-thinking quartermaster explains that the crew’s laughter is “the dreaded giggle of fear” inspired by this strange new “fur-feathered, sharp-toothed, beady-eyed buzzard of a bird.”  Down below, the teddy is about to be tossed into the sea when it begs for its life and is taught its duties as the captain’s bird.  It’s a great story, with ample opportunity for growling, swaggering, and swashbuckling.

Afterwards we made pirate hats and eye patches.  These simple crafts were easy for the kids to make themselves, and they loved wearing them.

I managed to snap a photo of this rogue’s gallery before they went their marauding ways:

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