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Rob Biddulph
Age 3-7 years

Penguin Blue receives a delivery, a pirate costume. He decides to set sail on a swashbuckling adventure game with his penguin friends, Clive the polar bear and Wilbur the Seal. After sailing the seven seas their ship is ripped by a passing swordfish, they find a sunken wreck, and meet a shipwrecked captain on a desert island, Captain Walker Plank. Will they find any treasure and how will they get safely home?

With wonderfully detailed illustrations, appealing penguin pirates, an exciting theme and a rhyming text this book is great fun to share. It will inspire lots of pirate storyplay and may also lead to some serious thinking about what we treasure the most.


Share the story

Before reading the story look at the title page together. Share ideas about who might live in the house and what might be in the parcel.

Read the story aloud
Read to your child pausing to talk about what is happening in the story or the pictures when children

Join in
Children could join in with the pirate cries of ‘Thar she blows!’ and ‘Yo Ho Ho!’ For children beginning to read you could point to the words as you read them.

Talk about the story
You and your child will find lots to talk about in the detailed illustrations, here are some suggestions:

Talk about what children notice in the sunken world under the sea

Count the seven seas on the double page map and trace the route of Penguin Blue’s ship.

As you turn the pages, look out for the treasure map, the ‘X’ marks the spot on the Desert Island and see if you can spot what the naughty parrot does, don’t miss the final illustration at the back of the book!

What games are Penguin Blue’s friends playing on the ship at the end of the story?

Talk about anything that puzzles children, for example the end of the story and finding ‘treasure worth much more than gold.’


Things to make and do

Dress up as a pirate
Dress up as a pirate, you don’t have to have a pirate outfit an improvised costume is just as much fun. Make a pirate hat using Rob Biddulph’s template  or from folded newspaper

Draw a treasure map
Children could draw their own treasure map, not forgetting to mark the treasure with an X of course! Older children might enjoy staining the paper with tea or coffee first to make it look really old. They could roll the map and tie it together with a ribbon or string.

Act the story
Collecting together some toys as a pirate crew children could set sail on a pirate adventure, wearing their costume in a make believe boat out of a paddling pool, large storage box or baby bath. They can take their treasure map and other props perhaps a spyglass.

Find out more

Read another story by Rob Biddulph:

Blown Away


Odd Dog Out

Watch Rob Biddulph draw a pirate penguin

Find out more about floating and sinking


Buy Sunk here