281A: Amazingly illustrated pirate story starts with abducted boy

I have been looking for some time for this illustrated children’s book I read as a child around 1974-77 in Australia. It is the story of a boy playing on an old dinghy on the beach when they are kidnapped by pirates and go on amazing adventures. The boy (or boy and girls) is playing in an upturned dinghy on a beach when he is abducted and taken to the pirate ship, he witnesses pirate battles and then gets included in their adventures. The boy becomes part of the pirates. They may visit the odd strange land or Island (I’m recalling tree houses, maybe African colours themes), they use bell helmets to go under water, they find treasure, they take the boy home.  The most notable thing about the book is the incredible double page illustrations with rich rich detail and colour. The pirate characters are diverse and hilarious creations – themselves a very strong feature of the book. First page might be looking down on the beach from the top of the escarpment at the north end of the beach (if the coast faces East). Next we see him on the beach with the upturned dinghy with a big hole in it. There are loads of crabs and other creatures to see. A few pages later in the battle scene I recall the boy peeks out from below decks – he’s not a pirate yet. In the underwater scene I recall they wear old fashioned bell helmets with air lines leading back up to the ship, and there are many amazing creatures like giant squid/octopus. The treasure scene I recall amazing jewels and one of the pirates has a ring on the end of his beard.

My guess is it’s hardcover.

The illustrations cover double page spreads.

There is minimal text or possibly no text at all.

It’s written in English.

Hopefully you can help.

6 thoughts on “281A: Amazingly illustrated pirate story starts with abducted boy

  1. One of Colin McNaughton’s books about the pirate Abdul the Skinhead? (Jolly Roger, Pirate School and at least one other.)

    Or maybe One-Eyed Jake by Hutchins?

      • You just named a book I’d loved as a kid, but whose title had eluded me. I’ve searched and searched for this picture book of a shipload of pirates without success. My favorite pirate was named Nosebleed, who left a trail of bloody tissues in his wake. The mystery is solved. Thank you!

    • McNaughton’s books are the closest, but the illustrations are not as refined as those in the book I’m looking for.

      Thanks for helping.

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