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The Night Pirates

night_piratesPeter Harris, Deborah Allwright (illus)
Age 3-5

While Tom is sleeping some strange shadowy shapes enter his street. They are girl pirates planning to steal the front of his house as a disguise for their ship. The pirates agree to take Tom on a night time adventure with them. They head for an island where they meet grown up pirates and find a treasure chest.

An unusual, imaginative and beautifully illustrated story in which grown up pirates afraid of the girl pirates who steal their treasure. There are lots of questions to ponder in this night time adventure; was it all a dream?



Share the story

Read aloud
Before starting to read the book, look at the cover and end papers together, what can you tell about the story?

Read the opening aloud in a whisper and pause at ‘Tom was a little boy about to have an adventure’…. What sort of adventure might he have?

Read the story aloud pausing to talk about what happens and the illustrations as you do.

Join in
When you read the book again children can join in with the repeated phrases eg ‘down, down, down…’ ‘Tom was…’ and what some of the characters said.

Talk about the story

There are lots of questions included in the story, talk about them as you share the book; including the last one ‘No one would ever find out….would they? ’What do children think?

Did anything surprise children about the story?

What might mum or dad say if Tom tells them about the night pirates?

Watch the story


Things to make and do

Role play

Children could pretend to be Tom in the crow’s nest illustrated on the cover, perhaps using a large plastic storage container or linen basket to sit in. A cardboard tube could be the telescope. You might like to make a pirate flag too (see below).

Together, role play a conversation between one of the girl pirates and Tom on the ship. What orders might Tom be given?

Make a map and tell the story
Using a large sheet of paper children could draw their own map to show the places in the story and Tom’s adventure with the girl pirates. Children could then use their map to help them tell you the story.

Write a pirate log
Print off the pirate log template. Children can write Tom’s ‘log’ or diary for the night in the story.

Find out more

Find out about illustrator Deborah Allwright here

Sing a pirate song here

Make a pirate flag here


Buy online