Get to Know Sally Anne Garland's The Little Pirate Queen!

April 26th, 2021
Get the inside scoop on Sally Anne Garland's new picture book, The Little Pirate Queen!

Tell us all about The Little Pirate Queen!

Lucy struggles every day trying to sail her rickety raft to Far Away Island and make believes she is a Pirate Queen, to help her get through her difficult journey.

She is constantly fixing and mending her little raft, whilst the other children have much better boats and seem to have no problems sailing them.

Then suddenly, a terrible wave washes all the little boats away and they are all left struggling in a stormy sea. 

Lucy rescues and teaches the other children, using the skills and knowledge she had learnt mending her own raft and eventually they all build something amazing, that leads them to the safely of Far Away Island.

Where did the inspiration for The Little Pirate Queen originate from?

I wrote this with kids in mind who were maybe having difficulties for whatever reason. We all experience tough times at some stage of our lives however for some it is during childhood.

I stumbled upon a quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor ” and it gave me the start of an idea. It is also printed in the title pages at the beginning of the book and I think sums up the story which is about resilience and compassion. The skills and things we learn during hard times can often help us better navigate life in the future. 

Do you have a love for pirate books?

I don’t have a  specific love for pirate books however I find the genre really interesting. Like Lucy, pirates are individuals who don’t quite fit in and have had to learn to adapt and survive.

I also think there is something about pirate talk that a lot of children channel and find empowering. There is nothing better than a great big pirate roar to get rid of any pent up energy or feelings. I think that is one of the reasons why, other than they are very exciting adventures, these books are so enduring for kids. 

What was your favourite childhood book?

The first books I enjoyed were classics like Alice In WonderlandWinnie the Pooh and of course Treasure Island. However my most favourite childhood book has to be Bogwoppit by Ursula Moray Williams and illustrated by Shirley Hughes.

What do you enjoy most about writing and illustrating a book?

I really like the process of telling a story using my own words and drawings. Picture books I think are an important genre in children’s literature and there is obviously a strong relationship between the words and pictures, so it is a joy to be the creator of both.

What do you find challenging?

Finding time to sit down to write and draw.

How long did it take you to create The Little Pirate Queen?

The initial idea didn’t take long however it took about a year and a half to become a fully printed, published book.

What do you want young readers to take away from The Little Pirate Queen?

Confidence in themselves and their ability to cope, particularly if they are going through something difficult. Although what they maybe experiencing is tough, I hope the story helps them see they are becoming stronger not weaker and see their own potential. 

What do you get up to in your spare time?

I like reading and walking.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself!

I sent a picture of sunflowers to the Queen when I was aged 6 and I got a lovely letter back from the queen thanking me kindly.

Thank you so much Sally Anne Garland! 
You can find Sally on Instagram.

The Little Pirate Queen

Lucy sails across the sea fixing her small, rickety raft hoping to reach Far Away Island. 
But when a gigantic wave sweeps the other children away, The Little Pirate Queen is determined to rescue everyone.

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