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Everything I Know About Pirates Hardcover – May 1, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Ahoy there, matey! All buccaneers to the poop deck or ye'll be walkin' the plank! Aaarrgh! Author and illustrator Tom Lichtenheld always wondered why pirates' pants are so raggedy on the bottom edges, and what makes pirates so crabby all the time, and why it is that earrings were macho on pirates way before they became cool for any other guys. So he decided it was up to him to write the final word on piratedom. This encyclopedia of spectacularly unscientific, unfounded facts about those nasty brigands of the sea will thoroughly satisfy the curiosity of landlubbin' vermin and pirate wannabes alike. Complete with name charts (pick one word from each of three columns to come up with a name like Blind Tooth Willy or One Boot Kidd), diagrams of swashbuckler fashion, and cutaway views of pirate ships, this volume is chock full of unforgettable and indispensable details of the buccaneering life. Did you know, for example, that pirates are very clumsy--why else would they always end up with eye patches and hooks? And the skull and crossbones was not discovered inside the desk of a seventh-grader in De Kalb, Illinois, as is commonly believed. It was Leonardo "Peg Leg" da Vinci who invented the design. Confused by all this technical lingo? Check out the Official Pirate Glossary in the back. Lichtenheld's hilarious illustrations and outrageous nonsense makes for a delicious reading experience for swashbucklers of all ages. (Ages 4 and older) --Emilie Coulter

From Publishers Weekly

Newcomer Lichtenheld's picture book spoof of a reference on all things piratical will shiver the timbers and tickle the funnybones of those salts, both young and old, with a penchant for silliness. Waltzing through a compendium of merry myths about the terrors of the high seas, Lichtenheld sends up everything from buccaneers' wardrobes (holey boots "ventilated to prevent toe crud"; the origins of "scaredy pants") to their surly looks ("the Pirate Sneer") and their loot ("gold coins, jewelry, and high-end Japanese electronics"), all to mirthful visual accompaniment. He traces the evolution of the pirate flag (the "1620 Hot Dog and Crossbones" was an abject failure, due to the fact that it was "not very scary"), and provides a handy do-it-yourself pirate name chart (because the pirates are "not going to let you in with a name like Nathan or Ashley"). The off-the-cuff commentary maintains a rapid-fire, gag-a-minute pace that dips into the kind of crudeness certain youngsters crave (polka dots on pirates' hankie headscarves "are actually old booger stains"), and the jaunty cartoon illustrations, rendered against a parchment-like backdrop in ink, colored pencil, gouache, pastels "and ear wax," as the fore to aft. Ages 4-8. (May) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 930L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 40 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (May 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689826257
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689826252
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.5 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,433,052 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Everything I Know About Pirates is one terrific book that your kids will be fighting over. Tom Lichtenheld asks and answers many of those age old questions that we've always wondered about. For instance, you can find out about pirate clothes and accessories, pirate ships and pirate maps; why pirates look mean, smell bad and walk the plank...and this is just the start. And the text is complimented by wonderful, busy illustrations that everyone will love. There's even a name chart to help you pick your own pirate name and a handy glossary to explain pirate words and terms. A rip roarin' time for the whole family. This book is a must for all home libraries.
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Format: Hardcover
A couple years back I suffered an eye injury, and as a result I had to wear a drugstore-issue eye patch for a while. Now, when you're wearing an eye patch you find yourself answering a lot of questions. Understandably, I began to pepper my answers with words like "Aaaaaarrrggh" and "Matey."
So when Tom Lichtenheld's book "Everything I Know About Pirates" came out, I had to look into it - if only to pick up some tips about my new high-seas alter ego. I picked up a lot more than I'd bargained for.
Lichtenheld has produced a children's book predicated on the gleeful acknowledgement that he knows absolutely nothing about the subject at hand: pirates. But he forges ahead fearlessly with preposterous explanations of who the pirates are and what makes them tick. It's dopey, smart, hilarious stuff - that rare brand of humor that manages to make rather profound sense by throwing logic out the door. The brand of humor that's been proven effective at turning kids into masses of laughing jelly. The brand of humor that a lot of us grown-ups would do well to get back in touch with.
Lichtenheld not only wrote the book; he illustrated it, too. And the drawings are every bit the equal of the writing. Detailed, witty, filled with hidden jokes that reward repeated readings, they make "Pirates" a delight even for kids so young they wouldn't know a printed word from a soiled diaper.
In sum, "Everything I Know About Pirates" is like a mom or dad who can spin funny, wonderful bedime stories out of thin air, time after time. In other words, a rarity. If you have kids, you and they will both love it. If you don't have kids...well, this book might make you want to.
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Format: Hardcover
A great book. My kids LOVED it.
They were HOWLING. In fact, while I was reading it to my 7 and 5 year old boys, my wife came in to see what they were laughing so hard about.
The boys also played pirates the next day. And the next day. And the whole week.
Overall, it is a very witty, well-written and well-drawn book that parents will enjoy even more than their kids.
Heck, even pirates would enjoy it. If they could take a few minutes away from plundering to bother reading it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The story is great and very very cute but when the book arrived, the back cover was torn!!! As in torn completely, all the way across to the spine. I'd order it for my grandson who was having a Pirate-themed birthday party so there was no time to return for a new one and since the story was so cute I kept it rather than return. I'm pretty annoyed that they sent a ripped book!
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Format: Hardcover
I haven't read this book, but my 5-yr-old grandson, Ryan Shaffer of Houston, Texas, has and he said in a phone call: "This is my favorite book ever." Sounds like a pretty good endorsement to me!

Carol Shaffer
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Everything child I have given this book to loves it. I usually ads a small muslin bag. That I "dirty" by rubbing it with a brown stamp pad. I add their name to the bag with a sharply up pen and add some pirate booty (gold dollar coins ~ask for them at the bank). A map can be made on a paper bag (backyard, beach or campground. Be sure to crumple the map.
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Format: Hardcover
As a 45 year old Kindergarten teacher, I picked this book up over summer and had tears in my eyes I was laughing so hard! Lichtenheld's pictures are comical, too. I hope he writes many more "everything I know about..." books. I hope to have my students write 'everything I know' essays.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has been read at least 100 times, and it never gets old. If you have a young tot who has even the slightest interest in pirates, this charming book will immediately become a favorite. It details a young boy's thrill at his chance to go live as a pirate, but quickly discovers that maybe it's not it's cracked up to be. The illustrations are detailed and hilarious, which makes this an excellent read-to-me book.
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