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Blackbear the Pirate

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Thaaarrr be Baaars... er, Bears

There is adventure on the high seas for Blackbear the Pirate, and more on the way as this charming series continues.

The latest installment of this lovely illustrated children's book is 'The Search for Captain Ben,' where Blackbear and his crew go in search of the captain's missing mentor named in the title.

The idea of combining pirates with bears came to author Steve Buckley while on a trip to Canada.

'I had written all these adventure stories and I was just trying to figure out where it was going and put some characterization in it. I didn't want to illustrate them [the pirates] as people,' he said in a phone interview. 'We were way up near a village called Mica. We saw so many bears and that's really where it came from.'

The first bear he saw also happened to be a black bear it's fate really.

Buckley is a more than just a fan of pirates - he contributes to several nautical publications, including 'Latitudes and Attitudes Seafaring Magazine,' 'Pirate's Magazine' and 'The Mariner.' The books are filled with nods to true pirate lore, the most obvious being the play on Blackbeard. The bears are on the pirate ship The Annie, a nod to Blackbeard's Queen Anne's Revenge, and the crew is comprised of various bears all named after famous pirates in history.

'You have one girl on the crew, Bonnie, who is named after Anne Bonnie, and it goes on like that,' said Buckley. 'All the characters' names originated from pirates.'

The books are richly illustrated by Ruth Palmer. Parents and children will have fun with the stories and can continue to learn about true pirate history as they grow. Blackbear's crew is diverse and fun, with bears and bear-relatives from all over the globe (polar bears, panda bears - lots and lots of bears!). Fans of bears and fans of pirates will love these charming stories.

The next story, 'Calico's Ghost,' is due out in May. But you can check out the original 'Blackbear the Pirate' and 'The Search for Captain Ben' right now. Find out more at Buckley's Blackbear the Pirate Facebook page or visit

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 April 2012 14:34


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