No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou

At Seabreezy Library, things were just right. / Booklovers were cozy. The sky was blue-bright / when--Shiver me timbers!--through Seabreezy's door / stormed big Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor! Argh!! Things are looking--and smelling!!--a little fishy at Seabreezy Library. When the big X on Pirate Pete's treasure map leads him and his parrot-sidekick Igor to believe buried treasure is hidden at the library, the patrons are quaking in their shoes. But never fear! Library Lou, Seabreezy's librarian-extraordinaire, is as cool as a cucumber and knows how to handle an irate pirate or two. She knows exactly where the treasure is buried. But first she needs to help Pirate Pete and Igor get a handle on their hygiene, brush up on library etiquette, and then tackle learning their letters. And that will lead them to the treasure that can always be found at the library.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$16.99 $16.99
$27.95 $27.95
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 3
Reading Level Grade 1
Dewey E
ATOS Reading Level 2.4
Guided Reading Level
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585367962), PDF (9781627530095), Hosted ebook (9781627535649)
Copyright 2013, 2014
Number of Pages 40
Dimensions 11 x 9
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • 2016 Kansas Reading Association’s Bill Martin, Jr. Picture Book Award, Short-listed, 2016
  • 2014 Story Telling World Resource Award - Pre-Adolescent Listeners, Commended, 2014
  • 2014-2105 Florida Reading Association's Children's Book Award Children's Choice, Short-listed, 2014
  • 2014 IRA/CBC Children's Choices List, Winner, 2014
  • 2014 Bank Street Best Books of the Year for Children, Winner, 2014
  • Creative Child Award Preferred Choice Award, Winner, 2013

The Bookworm Reviews "No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou"

Would you please be quiet for a minute?

How many times a day does your Mom, Dad, teacher, or grandma say that to you? Probably really often, even though they were kids once, not too long ago, and even though they know how hard it is to keep your mouth closed and your ears open when there’s so much to say.

But would you believe that it’s just as hard to keep quiet when you’re a pirate? It is, and in the new book “NO PIRATES ALLOWED! Said Library Lou” by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illustrated by Brian Ajhar, you’ll see all the problems that can make. Everything was “just right” at Seabreezy Library. People were reading silently, working on the computers and looking things up, when bang! Big Pirate Pete stomped through the library’s door.

“X Marks this spot!” he hollered. He was, of course, looking for treasure, but nobody could get close enough to tell him that Seabreezy was a library.

Big Pete smelled terrible.

But Library Lou was having none of that. She told Big Pete to be quiet. Shhhhh! Big Pete snarled at Library Lou but she wasn’t scared of a pirate, and there was a nasty stare-down. Then Library Lou said that if Big Pete couldn’t hush, there would be NO PIRATES ALLOWED in her building! She asked to see Big Pete’s treasure map and yes, indeed, there was treasure at Seabreezy Library.

Library Lou told Pete that she’d help him find the treasure, but first – he had to go home and take a bath. “Then come back tomorrow,” she said.

The next day, Library Lou handed Big Pete another assignment. “X” didn’t mark the spot; there were a whole bunch of letters to look through. It might’ve been a secret code, which would take a long time to figure out. Library Lou gave Big Pete a pile of words, and told him to “come back tomorrow.”

But after a few days of Q and L and Z, Big Pete got impatient. Was there actually gold hidden in the rows and rows and rows of books on the shelves? Was there another clue for him? Where, exactly, was the treasure inside Seabreezy Library?

If you and your child are readers, you know where it is. But “NO PIRATES ALLOWED! Said Library Lou” is a fun (and funny) reminder.

With a rhyme and a growl, author Rhonda Gowler Greene offers faux-ferocity to a pirate who’s really a pussycat, and gentleness to a tiny librarian who turns out to be a tiger. Kids who love books – and even those who don’t – will surely want to see where Big Pete finds his “gold.” Add in the absolutely wonderful illustrations by Brian Ajhar (pay attention to Big Pete’s facial expressions!), and you’ve got a book that’s aarrghreally appealing.

I’d highly recommend being very silly with this book, and putting your best pirate on when reading it aloud. Do that, and “NO PIRATES ALLOWED! Said Library Lou” will keep your 3-to-7-year-old quiet – at least for a minute.

Pirates & Privateers Reviews "No Pirates Allowed! said Library Lou"

The sudden and unexpected appearance of smelly Big Pirate Pete and his squawking parrot Igor cause a ruckus in Seabreezy Library, a perfect place for readers. His map shows just where the treasure is buried, but he can’t figure out where the X is located in the library. The only one brave enough to stand up to him is Lou the Librarian, and she makes it abundantly clear the library does not permit pirates unless . . . .

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou is a delightful tale about pirates, librarians, and the importance of knowing how to read. It’s great for reading aloud, and the various sizes of print make it clear to young pirates whether it’s time to whisper, talk in a normal voice, or shout. While the portrayal of librarians tends to be hair in a bun, glasses, and always saying shhh!, Greene portrays Lou with gumption and the smarts to trick a pirate into lowering his voice and learning about books without his realizing that’s what’s happening. Big Pete is the epitome of a pirate, with his tricorne hat, constantly shouting Arrgh!, and showing disregard for others, yet he’s willing to take a chance if it means he’ll locate the treasure.

The vibrant artwork that accompanies the text is expressive, the perfect mix of humor and reality. Young pirates will have no trouble using the pictures to tell the story, even if they haven’t yet mastered reading. Ajhar portrays the library with both high tech and those old-fashioned objects known as books. The combination of his pictures and Greene’s words make this a tale to be treasured for many generations to come.

The Children's Bookshelf Reviews "No Pirates Allowed! said Library Lou"

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou, written by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Brian Ajhar is a clever tale of the frustrations faced when Big Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor storm into Seabreezy Library demanding the buried treasure that he believes is buried there. Readers are introduced to Pirate Pete when he insists that X marks the spot of the treasure which just happens to be where the library stands. Pirate Pete enters loudly and scares everyone except the librarian, Lou who promptly tells him to be quiet. She stands her ground and tells him that unless he is quiet there will be no pirates allowed in the library. When he does quiet down, she looks at his map and quickly agrees to help him look for the treasure if he will go home, take a bath and return the next day—which, surprisingly, Pirate Pete does.

Upon his return, Pirate Pete is just as loud as before and is ready to start his search with his pick, ax, and shovel in hand. However, Librarian Lou has other ideas and quickly brings Pirate Pete a barrel of letters so he can begin to understand that there are far more letters than just letter “X.” Librarian Lou teaches Pirate Pete all of the letters, and lots of words too and sends him home each night with the challenge to break the code. Day after day, he comes to the library and night after night, he searches through the books that Library Lou gives him to explore the treasure that is hidden within. Pete works hard and reads all of the books, Mother Goose, Dr. Seuss, books of the sea, and then onto non fiction where he learned things he had never known. He became so involved in the search through the pages of his books, that his pick and ax began to get dusty. Then suddenly, Pirate Pete realizes that he no longer dreams of finding the loot; instead, he is a reader—“and a good one to boot.”

Library Lou had accomplished her goal and was indeed proud to hang out a sign that said, “Pirates Allowed.”

While the author, Rhonda Gowler Greene uses playful language full of descriptive detail to describe the disturbances that Pirate Pete caused and his subsequent obsession with reading, Brian Ajhar provides colorful illustrations to extend those actions. Together, they create a humorous, yet poignant statement about the importance of reading.

No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou, written by Rhonda Gowler Greene and illustrated by Brian Ajhar is appropriate for ages 6-8.

The Simple Moms Reviews "No Pirates Allowed, Said Library Lou"

My little girls love all things pink, and frou-frou, and sparkly. They also love pirates. When I say love pirates, I mean a couple weeks ago at Sunday school my 3-year-old daughter was leading 4 little boys in playing pirate. LOVE pirates.

When No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou first arrived from Sleeping Bear Press my girls were beyond excited to read this story. Pirates! Enough said. Thankfully, this story was as much fun as we had hoped it would be and has become a perfect summer reading selection.

The rhyming story by Rhonda Gowler Greene about Big Pirate Pete and his parrot Igor definitely pulled in my girls attention. They loved hearing how Big Pete went from being a swashbuckling illiterate pirate to book loving pirate who discovered the treasure to be found in the library thanks to Library Lou.

The story was great and the illustrations by Brian Ajhar really brought it alive. Our favorite illustrations being when “Pete scrubbed thirteen layers of dirt…” in a tiny washtub that was about 5 sizes too small.

So, next time you head out to the library, the local bookstore, or your favorite online bookshop check out No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou. It’s an entertaining story with a great underlying message about the treasures to be found in books and a perfect read for your kids this summer!

School Library Journal Reviews "No Pirates Allowed! Said Library Lou"

Big Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor, loudly find their way into the local library where their map indicates a buried treasure. Library Lou, the quick-witted librarian, requests that Pete shower, change clothes, and come back quietly the next day. She teaches Pete about the 25 letters besides the “X” and shows him how they work together to form words. Pete finds his treasure in books by Dr. Seuss, Mother Goose collections, and Arnold Lobel’s “Frog and Toad” series. He discovers classics like Treasure Island as well as the nonfiction section. After becoming a voracious reader, he returns to the library to thank Lou for helping him discover the riches of reading. Lou hangs a sign on the library door that says, “Pirates Allowed.” Detailed color cartoon illustrations of characters and settings in sharp contrast lend themselves to conversations about strong character types and reading anywhere (including on a pile of rocks surrounded by seagulls). Rhyming text and steady pacing make this book a good read-aloud for Talk Like a Pirate Day or National Library Week.

Kirkus Reviews "No Pirates Allowed Said Library Lou"

A librarian endows a treasure-hunting pirate with reading skills as well as training him to hush up in this bland valentine to literacy.

Sending other users fleeing from their computer screens and cozy reading nooks to cower in the stacks, Big Pirate Pete bursts into the Seabreezy Library bellowing demands for treasure. Flashing the fierce, quelling glare that good public and school librarians everywhere wield, diminutive Library Lou shuts him up and sends him away with a promise to help after he bathes and changes his undershorts. When he meekly returns, she shows him that there’s more to the alphabet than “X marks the spot,” and in time, he becomes an avid reader—as Greene puts it in a typically lumbering couplet: “Those factual books, Big Pete came to love. / He read about things that he’d never heard of….” Ajhar tracks the development of this Common Core–friendly reading preference in comical scenes in which schoolmarmish Lou dances balletically among piles of books as the exaggeratedly humongous pirate grows more and more absorbed in his reading. At last he figures out that reading is fun and tenders his thanks: “ ‘ ’Cause of ye, now we know—books be the treasure!’ / ‘Shucks,’ whispered Lou. ‘It’s been my pleasure.’ ”

Worthy, even trendy, but unlikely to make nonreaders (of any age) follow the animals in Judy Sierra and Marc Brown’s classic to become Wild About Books (2004). (Picture book. 6-8)

Author: Rhonda Gowler Greene

Rhonda Gowler Greene is the author of over twenty-five children’s books. Among other honors, her books have been named a Bank Street College Best Children’s Book, an ILA Children’s Choice Book, and a School Library Journal Best Book. A former elementary learning disabilities teacher, Rhonda holds a Master’s in Educational Media. She currently resides in southeast Michigan. Learn more at

Illustrator: Brian Ajhar

Brian Ajhar has illustrated numerous picture books including Gone with the Wand, Home on the Range, A Burst of Firsts, The Meanwhile Adventures and The Giggler Treatment. Brian’s recent books, Mugs & Beards and In Character, focus on his work as a character designer for animation. He is a New York Times best-selling artist whose work has appeared in many prestigious magazine publications. Brian is also a guest professor at Syracuse University and University of the Arts. He currently lives in Canadensis, PA with his wife, two sons, and their yellow lab, Vanilla. More about Brian Ajhar and his work including character design reels can be found at Brian’s website.

Narrator: Adam Weber

Author/Illustrator biography
Full-color illustrations