There's a pirate in the woods – and in elementary schools across Michigan. Carl R. Sams II and Jean Stoick, publishers of the In the Woods book series, are donating 2,000 copies of A Pirate's Quest to Michigan schools.
"We feel that blending gentle lessons of nature with a pirate is a fun way to celebrate the Michigan tradition March is Reading Month," Sams said in a release.
State Sen. Mike Kowall, R-White Lake, and his staff helped distribute the books, he stated.
A Pirate's Quest, written by Laura Sams and Robert Sams and illustrated by Heiner Hertling, uses wildlife paintings to tell the tale of a one-legged pirate and his quest to find a peg leg – a family heirloom passed down from his grandpappy to his pappy to him. He loses the peg leg on a tiny lake far from the sea. To find it, he must follow the moving water, from the lakes to the rivers and eventually out to the ocean.
"Teaching kids about nature and an appreciation of books is important to us," Carl Sams said. "Our pirate travels through many different ecosystems along his way to find his peg. Our goal was to show children how water connects life around the world."
Hertling, an award-winning painter and host of the PBS television show, Your Brush With Nature, painted more than 50 original oil paintings for the book. "Adding a pirate to my usual nature-based scenes was a great challenge," Heiner said. "I wanted this book to be something that children will love for the story, nature lovers will love for the nature, and artists will love for the art."
Laura and Robert Sams are sister/brother wildlife filmmakers, who directed Sams II and Stoick's Lost in the Woods: The Movie, First Snow in the Woods: The Movie and Stranger in the Woods: The Movie.
A Pirate's Quest is available at www.strangerinthewoods.com.