friday feast: shiver me timbers! by douglas florian and robert neubecker


Time t’ swash yer buckles, hoist the Jolly Roger and twirl yer tricornes. Douglas “Scurvy Dog” Florian has just penned avast amount o’ piratical poems in Shiver Me Timbers!: Pirate Poems & Paintings (Beach Lane Books, 2012). Arrrrrr!

Leave it t’ Scurvy Dog t’ brandish his literary wit for a 19-poem feast o’ the feisty that’ll fire up a yearnin’ fer the high seas. Pillage, plunder, blunderbuss, dagger. Buccaneer, commandeer, privateer sneer!

Plus a sulphur stinkpot er two.

Aye, this book’s a prize booty, chock full o’ fun-t’-know essentials about the toothless and ruthless: “Names for Pirates,” “Me Pirate Weapons,” “Pirate Flags,”  “Rule of the Pirate,” “Pirate Patter”! If yer wantin’ t’ be the crudest, rudest rascal er robber, swear by this:


Don’t take a bath.
Avoid all math.
It’s best to yell
And blessed to smell.
Act rash and rude.
Dash down yer food.
Be sure to slurp
And belch and burp.
Take lots of naps.
Hide all yer maps.
Dismay, disrupt,
And interrupt.
Rob, steal, and loot,
But don’t get cute.
Tell lots of lies.
Make alibis.
Don’t change yer clothes.
Yell, “Thar she blows!”

Copyright © 2012 Douglas Florian. All rights reserved.

Course, this be business as usual fer all ye bilge rats. Aye, I c’n smell ya!

And I hear yer belly gurgles. No need t’ blow up yer puffy sleeves. Scurvy Dog gives new meaning t’ the sayin’, “feed the fish”:

Arrrrrt © 2012 Robert Neubecker


On Monday we had haddock.
On Tuesday tuna fish.
We dined on weakfish Wednesday.
Shark, our Thursday dish.
On Friday we had flounder.
Saturday ate fluke.
If we have fish for one more day
Methinks that I will puke.

Copyright © 2012 Douglas Florian. All rights reserved.

Kind of makes me wanna sprout a beard and marrrrry the man.:)

Click to read “Blackbeard” at Florian Cafe

Show a leg! Arrrrr ya focusin’ yer good eye on Robert “Scallywag” Neubecker’s plucky pictures? Never seen a scruffier, fiercer tongue-waggin’, cutlass-wavin’, funny-face makin’ band of salty sea dogs in all me life! A boatload of brilliance!

Didja know Scurvy Dog and Scallywag were shipmates at the New York Times twenty-five years back? Sink me! Musta been somethin’ in all those moldy biscuits they ate, fer Shiver Me Timbers! is as good as they come — poems and arrrrt sheer genius — a treasure chest of goodly grub for junior pirates and all who rejoice in rhythm and rhyme!

Practice yer arrrrrs in this parrrrrrting poem:


We call our ship a man-o’-warrr!
We sail to ports both near and farrr!
From Timbuktu to Madagascarrr!
At night we navigate by starrr!
We’re hard as nails with many a scarrr!
We’re pirates, scary pirates we arrr!

Copyright © 2012 Douglas Florian. All rights reserved.

‘Tis no bilge, me buckos, this be one of me fave poetry books of the year! *burp*

* * *

SHIVER ME TIMBERS!: Pirate Poems & Paintings
poems by Douglas Florian
pirates by Robert Neubecker
published by Beach Lane Books, 2012
*for aspiring peg-legs and plunderers ages 6-10, 32 pp.
Cool themes: pirates, poetry, weaponry, humor, adventure, nautical
**Starred Reviews** from School Library Journal and Kirkus

♥ Contact Scurvy Dog Douglas via his website if you’d like an authorgraphed bookplate!

* * *
Buxom Beauty and Poetical Piratess Laura Purdie Salas is hoisting the Roundup today at Writing the World for Kids. Likely she’ll let ya steal a good poem or two from her stash. If yer plannin’ to sail the high seas this weekend, don’t forget to call yer Mom b’fore ya go. ♥


*Spreads from Shiver Me Timbers! posted by permission of the publisher, text copyright © 2012 Douglas Florian, illustrations © 2012 Robert Neubecker, published by Beach Lane Books/S&S. All rights reserved.

Copyright © 2012 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup. All rights reserved.

34 thoughts on “friday feast: shiver me timbers! by douglas florian and robert neubecker

  1. Ahoy, me sassy lass! Wot a buckle-swashin’ pirate post this is! Those scurvy mates Douglas and Robert are a coupla clever scalliwags. Better get me one of these books ‘fore they make me walk the plank!

    (I did a pirate post a while back, but I could not keep the pirate talk going as long as you did. Brava!)


    1. Aye, it be tricky. Coupla extra hits of grog spurred me on!

      Ye walk the plank? Nay, methinks they’d scoop yer up and make thee their Queen! E’en spread their dreams ‘neath yer beautious boots 😉 . . .


  2. Ah, “puke” in a poem. What better way to get kids to love poetry? This looks very fun. Too bad it wasn’t available when my son was in his pirate phase in kindergarten (he’s a freshman in high school now).

    Thanks, Jama — looking forward to reading it!


    1. Yep, puke’s a pretty powerful attention getter. 🙂

      This collection’s just such fun from beginning to end; perfect pairing with the right illustrator to extend the humor, too.


  3. We needed this desperately a few weeks ago on ‘talk like a pirate day’, Jama. I agree with Linda above. I know quite a few young students who will love hearing ‘puke’ in a poem. The words, including yours, are better than hardtack, I must say. Thanks for telling about this book!


    1. Scurvy Dog definitely knows what kids like — his irreverent humor will entertain for sure, but he also incorporates lots of great information about pirates in this collection. Loved all the terminology. Guess what food is the ultimate pirate punishment? 🙂


  4. Woo hoo! I now know EXACTLY what my two nephews will be getting and LOVING for Christmas from their divinely wonderful Auntie Cathy!


  5. Ahoy, me bucko ! Soon’s I saw th’name Douglas Florian I knew t’would be a treasure . I’m weighin’ anchor and sailin’ off to pillage me a copy!

    Great post, Jama. So glad I’ve discovered you!


    1. Ahoy there, yer buxomness! Happy to have ye aboard today. Pillage away and spread the good word about Scurvy Dog atop yer crow’s nest. 🙂


  6. Ooh, Buxom Beauty and Poetical Piratess–I would like my nametags at all future book events to say that, please:>) Thanks for sharing several selections/spreads. Looks like another winner!


  7. Hi, Jama. I love, LOVE the illustration for the Blackbeard. The lady is so buxom, if she weren’t wearing a beard, I’d swear she was the image of a cetain Poetry Friday host.


  8. LOL! Yes, well, who’s to say that certain PF host didn’t shave just for today? 🙂 Did you read the poem that goes with that picture? The woman isn’t whom you’d actually expect . . .


  9. Ahoy matey! I’m just sending people over to your blog because you be much more clever than I! Funny that we chose so many of the same poems!


  10. Between Carol’s post and yours, I’m just itching to get my copy of this book and try on a pirate accent when reading the PUKE poem aloud!!


  11. Hoisting my sails to set off for the nearest book store. I think I’m going to get this book as soon as possible. It’s a total rockin’ and rollin’ romp. Love your dialogue, Jama. Great review.


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