Genre & Age: Fantasy picture book (ages 4-7)
Format: Hardcover, 32 pages, 8.5 x 11″
Publisher: Sterling Publishing
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Captain Rex and his dinosaur pirates sail the seven seas in search of buried treasure. But whenever they hit an obstacle—like a giant shark or pea-soup fog—the crew members are quick to say they can’t overcome. To this, Captain Rex always glares with teeth bared and says, “CAN’T YE?” And, somehow, the crew always comes up with a clever solution. This delightful story highlights the value of one’s creativity and determination in tough situations. It will encourage kids everywhere to think and say, “I can!”
What Others Are Saying
- “Arrr, if ye be lookin’ for a rollicking read about pirate treasure and persistence, REX marks the spot.”
Molly Idle, Caldecott Honoree author/illustrator of TEA REX
- “A darling book about problem solving and utilizing arrr! gifts. And the gorgeous illustrations are a treasure. Pure gold!”
Sherri Duskey Rinker, NY Times bestselling author of MIGHTY, MIGHTY CONSTRUCTION SITE
- “This story will certainly thrill the pirate in your house. Through humor and ingenuity we learn that anything is possible!”
Barney Saltzberg, NY Times bestselling author/illustrator of BEAUTIFUL OOPS!
- “Gorgeous illustrations paired with a satisfying story. CAP’N REX is tons and tons of dino fun!”
Fred Koehler, author/illustrator of SUPER JUMBO
- “Pirates, dinosaurs, a voyage to a volcano? Well, shiver me timbers! There be surprise and rollicking adventure within these gorgeous pages. CAP’N REX gives readers a taste of pirate etiquette in this see-worthy treasure.”
Pat Cummings, Coretta Scott King Award winning author/illustrator of MY MAMA NEEDS ME
- “Set sail with this frolicking adventure on the high seas where everything is possible!”
Vincent X. Kirsch, author/illustrator of FREDDIE & GINGERSNAP
- “Cap’n Rex and his jaunty crew take us on a jolly journey, fraught with perilous adventures. Sticking together and using their wits to overcome obstacles at every treacherous turn, these dino heroes are destined to rake in their fabulous bounty. Gorgeous textures and sumptuous-shaped illustrations help make this book a delight for any young pirate.”
Joe Cepeda, Pura Belpre Honoree author/illustrator of I, FREDDY
- “A clever yarn about overcoming obstacles that will have little buccaneers chanting “Can’t ye!” even after the last page has been turned.”
Corey Rosen Schwartz, author of NINJA RED RIDING HOOD
Watch the CAPN REX & HIS CLEVER CREW book trailer
Interviews & Reviews
- “Is there room for one more piratical dinosaur tale on the seven seas? There be! As Capt. Rex and his dinosaur pirates three search for buried treasure, they are beset by toothy megalodons, thick fog, and volcanoes. However, each time his crew declares they cannot do something, the captain glares with teeth bared and murmurs, “Can’t ye?” That kind of motivation can’t be denied, and the dinos go out of their way to think of clever solutions to their seemingly insurmountable obstacles. At last the treasure is uncovered, but when the captain fails to share, it takes a carefully placed “CAN’T YE?” from his crew to convince him of what’s right. With his emphasis on invention over brute force, Herz eloquently models positive attitudes for young readers. Less chompy than the text, Schipper’s art repeatedly softens the storyline. For example, rather than glare with teeth bared as the text suggests, the illustrations portray Rex smiling knowledgeably as his crew puzzles through their problems. The dinosaurs may be extinct but let’s hope dinosaur pirates keep on sailing for arr-ternity.”
- “Cap’n Rex and his dinosaur crew are searching for treasure, as pirates do. A megalodon bites off the ship’s rudder, but a brachiosaurus tail makes a serviceable replacement. A pterodactyl looks for land by flying above an enveloping fog, and an ankylosaurus uses his special attributes to dig up the gold. Meanwhile, Rex helps his group develop problem-solving skills and praises their clever solutions. The message about perseverance and creative thinking is stronger than the actual story, but the overall premise is made more fun by combining pirates and dinosaurs, two perennial storytime favorites. Cartoonish illustrations feature thick, solid colors and a mix of textures. The palette shifts according to the dinosaurs’ environment, which provides visual clues to the story’s progression. The crew demonstrates that they have learned the lessons well when they outsmart Rex at the end, making sure that he shares the treasure. The author includes a list of “piratey words” to be sure readers understand everything in the story and to possibly inspire them toward their own fantasy adventures.”
- Local storyteller’s ‘Cap’n Rex’ shares a tale of creativity and perseverance (Del Mar Times)
- Interview with Henry Herz (The Picture Book Buzz)
- Perfect Picture Book Friday book review
- An Interview with Cap’n Rex (Picture Books Help Kids Soar)
- Interview of Picture Book Author Henry Herz (Writers Rumpus)
- Henry Herz Scribes a Clever Tale for Little Mateys (Story Monsters Ink, p. 16)
Pirate Resources & Activities
Study Guide (free PDF)
- Pirate phrases
- English-to-Pirate translator
- Pirate Name Generator
- International Talk Like a Pirate Day – September 19
Lists of famous historical pirates
- Fold your own pirate book marks
Seafarin’ shanties to sing
- Blood Red Roses
- Blow the Man Down
- Fiddler’s Green
- Haul Away Joe
- Roll the Old Chariot
- Rolling Down to Old Maui
- Spanish Ladies
- The Bonny Ship The Diamond
- The Coasts of High Barbary
- Daphne and the Pirate – Lillian Gish, Elliott Dexter, Walter Long – 1916
- The Black Pirate – Douglas Fairbanks, Billie Dove, Anders Randolf – 1926
- The First Kiss – Fay Wray, Gary Cooper, Lane Chandler – 1928
- Treasure Island – Wallace Beery, Jackie Cooper, Lionel Barrymore – 1934
- Captain Blood – Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Lionel Atwill – 1935
- China Seas – Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Wallace Beery – 1935
- Spawn of the North – George Raft, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour – 1938
- The Sea Hawk – Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains – 1940
- The Black Swan – Tyrone Power, Maureen O’Hara, Laird Cregar – 1942
- Reap the Wild Wind – Ray Milland, John Wayne, Paulette Goddard – 1942
- Frenchman’s Creek – Joan Fontaine, Arturo de Córdova, Basil Rathbone – 1944
- The Princess and the Pirate – Bob Hope, Virginia Mayo, Walter Brennan – 1944
- Captain Kidd – Charles Laughton, Randolph Scott, Barbara Britton – 1945
- The Spanish Main – Paul Henreid, Maureen O’Hara, Walter Slezak – 1945
- The Sea Hound – Buster Crabbe, Jimmy Lloyd, Pamela Blake – 1947
- Sinbad the Sailor – Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Maureen O’Hara, Walter Slezak – 1947
- Buccaneer – Bunny Mel Blanc (voice) – 1948
- The Pirate – Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Walter Slezak – 1948
- Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N. – Gregory Peck, Virginia Mayo, Robert Beatty – 1951
- Anne of the Indies – Jean Peters, Louis Jourdan, Debra Paget – 1951
- Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd – Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Charles Laughton – 1952
- Against All Flags – Errol Flynn, Maureen O’Hara, Anthony Quinn – 1952
- The Crimson Pirate – Burt Lancaster, Nick Cravat, Eva Bartok – 1952
- Fair Wind to Java – Fred MacMurray, Vera Ralston, Robert Douglas – 1953
- The Black Pirates – Anthony Dexter, Martha Roth, and Lon Chaney, Jr. – 1954
- Captain Hareblower – Mel Blanc (voice) – 1954
- Captain Kidd and the Slave Girl – Anthony Dexter, Eva Gabor, Alan Hale, Jr. – 1954
- The Buccaneers – Robert Shaw, Paul Hansard, Brian Rawlinson – 1956
- The Buccaneer – Yul Brynner, Claire Bloom, Charles Boyer – 1958
- Rage of the Buccaneers – Ricardo Montalbán, Vincent Price, Giulia Rubini – 1961
- The Pirates of Blood River – Kerwin Mathews, Glenn Corbett, Christopher Lee – 1962
- A High Wind in Jamaica – Anthony Quinn, James Coburn, Dennis Price – 1965
- The Rover – Anthony Quinn, Rosanna Schiaffino, Rita Hayworth – 1967
- Blackbeard’s Ghost – Peter Ustinov, Dean Jones, Suzanne Pleshette – 1968
- The Light at the Edge of the World – Kirk Douglas, Yul Brynner, Samantha Eggar – 1971
- Treasure Island – Orson Welles, Kim Burfield, Lionel Stander – 1972
- Swashbuckler – Robert Shaw, James Earl Jones, Peter Boyle – 1976
- The Island – Michael Caine, David Warner, Angela Punch McGregor – 1980
- Nate and Hayes – Tommy Lee Jones, Michael O’Keefe, Max Phipps – 1983
- Yellowbeard – Graham Chapman, Peter Boyle – 1983
- The Pirates of Penzance – Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt – 1983
- The Goonies – Sean Astin, Josh Brolin and Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman – 1985
- Pirates – Walter Matthau, Cris Campion, Damien Thomas – 1986
- The Princess Bride – Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, André the Giant – 1987
- Treasure Island – Charlton Heston, Christian Bale, Oliver Reed – 1990
- Hook – Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, Julia Roberts – 1991
- Muppet Treasure Island – Tim Curry, Kevin Bishop, Billy Connolly – 1996
- Treasure Island – Jack Palance – 1999
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl – Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley – 2003
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley – 2006
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End – Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Geoffrey Rush – 2007
- Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Geoffrey Rush – 2011
- The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! – Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven – 2012
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Javier Bardem – 2017
- Hard Tack (sea biscuits)
- Meringue Bones
- Treasure Map Pizza
- Fruit Pirate Swords
- Pirate Cupcakes
- Watermelon Pirate Ship
- Q: Why don’t pirates shower before they walk the plank?
A: Because they’ll just wash up on shore later.
- Q: How did the pirate get his Jolly Roger so cheaply?
A: He bought it on sail.
- Q: What has 8 legs, 8 arms and 8 eyes?
A: 8 pirates.
- Q: What did the ocean say to the pirate?
A: Nothing, it just waved.
- Q: What lies at the bottom of the ocean and twitches?
A: A nervous wreck.
- Q: How much did the pirate pay for his piercings?
A: A buck-an-ear.
- Q: How do pirates prefer to communicate?
A: Aye to aye!
- Q: Why did nobody want to play cards with the pirate?
A: Because he was standing on the deck.
- Q: What are the 10 letters of the pirate alphabet?
A: I, I, R and the seven C’s
- Q: What happened to the pirate when his wooden leg caught fire?
A: He got burned to the ground
- Q: What is a pirate’s favorite movie?
A: Booty and the Beast (But it is arr-rated)