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The Barefoot Book of Pirates

The Barefoot Book of Pirates

 The Barefoot Book of Pirates by Richard Walker and illustrated by Olwyn Whelan is a retelling of seven pirate stories from Scandinavia, England, Germany, Ireland, Japan, Scotland and Morocco.  The stories are well illustrated and entertaining while being refreshingly free from gore. The hardcover edition of the book is accompanied by a CD with Richard Hope narrating the seven stories, perfect for long trips! England Everyone associates Robin Hood with Sherwood Forest and Nottingham, but with references dating back to the 13th century and the earliest recorded ballads dating from the 13th and 14th century, it is difficult to separate fact from fiction and whether he was a real person or a conglomeration of many.  The origins of “Robin Hood and the Pirates” date back to 1858 at least and possibly earlier.  In the story, Robin decides to go on vacation and leave Sherwood Forest and Little John suggests a trip to Scarborough.  Today, Scarborough is the largest holiday resort on the Yorkshire Coast.  In keeping with the pirate theme, there is a treasure hunt in Scarborough which lets you explore the coast, castle and surrounding environs.   After a few days in Scarborough, Robin decides he’s bored and wants to go out on a fishing boat.  You too can go out on a fishing trip with Queensferry Cruises and Skylark Fishing Trips.  While you probably won’t run into pirates on the coast of England on your trip, in this story Robin manages to save the fisherman from the pirates and in true Robin Hood fashion, he shares the plunder with the fishing crew and the good woman who had rented him a room. Ireland Grace O’Malley (Granuaile) or “The Sea Queen of Connaught” is one of the few female pirates in history.  In “Pirate Grace,” she arrives at Howth Castle in Ireland and asks for dinner according to custom.  Lord Howth refuses as he is too busy eating his own dinner and doesn’t want to be disturbed.  In retaliation, Grace kidnaps his heir and holds him hostage on Clare Island.  Her demand for his son’s freedom?  An apology and that the Lord always lay a spare place at the dining table in case anyone should need it. Howth, now a suburb of Dublin, was originally...

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