Shiver Me Letters: A Pirate ABC

Written by:June Sobel

Illustrated by:Henry Cole

Before Reading

Preview and Predict

Join the captain and his motley crew as they embark on a letter scavenger hunt! Before you dive into the story, take a moment to talk to your child about the cover, the illustrations within the book, and your child's initial predictions and observations. Consider asking questions like:

All of the pirates are animals! What animal pirates can you see? What other animals do you think would make good pirates?

What do you think will happen in this story?

What letters can you find in the clouds? What words start with the letter  ___? 

Which one do you think is the captain? What do you think he can see through his telescope? What do you think they are trying to find?

As You Read

Build Vocabulary

As you go through the story, be sure to discuss new words that your child might encounter. If s/he is unfamiliar, discuss what the word might mean based on the rest of the sentence and the illustrations on the page. If your child still is unclear, define the word and be sure to give plenty of synonyms and examples so that s/he has context for what the word means. Several examples of new words in this story include:

  1. QUEST

Also, be sure to read in silly voices to make the story more engaging and exciting for your child. The rhyming nature of the story also lends itself to being sung easily, so if you want to, go for it!  

Monitor Comprehension

Bring his/her attention to different elements in the illustrations and allow your child to make observations on their own and ask what letter they have to find next. Things that you can point out include the duck floaty that the captain is wearing, or the rope that the pig uses as a belt. There are plenty of fun things to find in the illustrations, so take a close look with your child. You can also turn it into a game and search for the letters before reading the text, or after to ensure that your child is comprehending the text.

After Reading

Make Connections

Once the story is over, take a moment to ask your child a few of these questions:

Did you like that story?

What happened?

Did they find all of the letters? Where did they find some of the letters? Where was the letter Z?

Do you like to go on treasure hunts? What kind of buried treasure would you want to find?

Extending the Story

Letter Treasure Hunt


This awesome activity from Toddler Approved to go on a beginning sounds treasure hunt! All you'll need is gold coins, treasure boxes (shoeboxes or any other small boxes will do the trick), sharpies and alphabet stickers. This activity is a great way to help build beginning reader skills in your little one.


STEM Extension: Non-Standard Measurements

Check out this fun clip from Sid the Science Kid: A Pirate's Tale! It's a great way to introduce measurements to your child in a simple and fun way. Then take what they've learned and find non-standard measurements around your home. Use a pencil, shoe, remote control, etc to measure various things in your home and create a chart to document what you find!