This post has a free printable and short book review for Pirate Boy by Eve Bunting, and illustrated by Julie Fortenberry. Julie Fortenberry has read this post and made her own printable with her own art, being the illustrator of the book! It is beautiful! So, first, Julie’s art for the story prompt. I found it on this page on her site. She shares crafts, downloads, and lessons on her site, also. Such beautiful work.

She has kindly shared the PDF at this link, which is a Google Doc PDF. If you are not familiar with Google Docs, you only need a free Gmail account.


Pirate Boy is really a discussion between a boy and his mother.  The boy wonders “what if” questions and the mother responds.  When the boy asks what if he would go to live with the pirates and then want to come home?  Mother says she would find him no matter what.  The boy continues with “what if” questions (as children are so excellent at doing) and the mother says she will use her magic spray to solve the problems.  No matter what, the mother will help the boy return home.

The mother in the story actually has some magic spray that she made that very day!  Using a spray bottle of water, some parents find this kind of idea comforts children. In the printable, the word bank has a magic coin instead of spray, but other words may be used as well.


What If Story Writing Frame

I took the idea of the story and made a student writing frame and word bank so students could write stories about things they might like to try in their imaginations and be safe when exploring their thoughts. Children love to ask what-if questions and this will put that talent to good use!  This PDF is free, of course:

FREE PDF What If Story writing frame

What If Story Information PDF photos

I sent a few of Julie Fortenberry’s books to my young grandsons. Pirate Boy is a board book now, so that is perfect for an 18-month old. She wrote and illustrated several books, as well, so I sent The Artist and the King to the “older” grandson (age 5).

Thank you for reading, Carolyn

You might also like the free printable for Tough Boris, for Talk Like a Pirate Day (September 19 each year).