Prince and Pirate

Prince and Pirate by Charlotte Gunnufson illustrated by Mike Lowery

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We love Charlotte Gunnufson’s books, and we know you will too! Her newest book, “Prince and Pirate,” is about two very different fish who live in two very different fishbowls.  Life is happy until both fish are plopped into a new home, and they are forced to share. Insults fly and sneers abound as Prince and Pirate fight for territory. Can they find a way to share, or are they doomed to a lifetime of fish tank misery?

We selected a few activities to do with your young readers. In our experience, one or two activities are enough to keep your child engaged after the story.

Book and Activity Benefits: 

  • Listening Skills
  • Reading
  • Following Instructions
  • Learning to share
  • Playing with other children/siblings

Fish Bookmark

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Supplies needed:

  • Fish Bookmark Printout
  • White cardstock paper – One piece for each bookmark made
  • Sequins
  • Colors or colored pencils
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • A hole punch
  • Yarn, string or cord (we used blue yarn)
  • Black marker


Click Here for instructions with pictures.

Click Here for the fish bookmark printout.

  1. Print the fish bookmark page. The blue background is already filled in on page one, and it is not filled in on page two. You may decide which page you want to print based on how much coloring you want to do.
  2. Decide which fish and books you want to put on your bookmark and color them.
  3. Cut out the images and the colored bookmark squares. Note * You may have to help younger children cut out the fish and books because they are small.
  4. Take the smaller pieces of the bookmark and fold it accordion style. If you have a paper crimper, you can put it through the crimper.
  5. After folding pull the accordion style paper open and glue it down on the larger bookmark square.
  6. Write the words “Dive Into A Good Book” on the top of the inside bookmark paper. Add decorative dots if you wish.
  7. Glue the fish and the books onto the bookmark. Add sequins above the fish to make “bubbles.”
  8. Punch a hole in the top of the bookmark and thread a piece of yarn, cord or string through the hole. Tie the yarn, cord or string in a bow.
  9. Make sure everything is dry before you use it.

Your bookmark is complete. Enjoy!


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Fish Porthole Hanging Decoration

Idea inspired by Misadventures of a YA Librarian.

Supplies needed:

  • Fish print out- Click here for the printout
  • Two white paper plates
  • Blue acrylic paint – if you don’t want to use paint a blue color can be used in place of paint
  • Sand – We bought craft sand at Hobby Lobby, but if your child has a sandbox you can use a handful of the sand from their sandbox.
  • Different shades of green craft paper or construction paper
  • Colored pencils or colors
  • A black or gray marker
  • String, cord or yarn to hang your porthole window
  • A piece of plastic- We used a photo album sleeve
  • A 7-inch paper plate – used to trace around for the porthole plastic
  • Glue
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • A hole punch
  • If you wish – other decorations for your porthole scene such as small pebbles, small shells, sequins or clear jewels for fish bubbles etc.


Click Here for instructions with pictures.

Prepare the fish and seagrass.

  1. Print out the fish page on white copy paper and have your child color the fish with colored pencils or colors. Cut the fish shapes out. The fish are small, so an adult may have to cut out the fish for smaller children.
  2. Cut out seagrass in different colors and shapes. We free-handed the seagrass. We just cut 1 1 1/2″ to 2″  strips of paper and made them pointed at the top.
  3. Paint or color the inside of the paper plate. We found blue acrylic paint worked well. Set the plate aside to dry.

While that plate is drying, you can work on making the porthole window.

  1. Take the second paper plate and cut the middle section out of the plate up to where the ridges start.
  2. Place your piece of plastic on your craft surface. Take the 7-inch paper plate and trace around it.
  3. Cut the circle out.
  4. Glue around the edge of the hole on the inside of the plate and place your plastic piece inside the plate.
  5. Take small pieces of clear tape and tape around the edge of the plastic.
  6. Let the porthole window dry.

When your blue plate is dry:

  1. Spread glue along the bottom portion of the middle of your plate. Place the sea grass on the glue in the position you want it. Put a few more dots of glue on the bottom of the seagrass.
  2. Take your sand and pour it over the wet glue.
  3. Let it sit for a little bit so the sand sticks really well to the glue.
  4. If you want to, while the sand is setting you can glue the fish to the plate. You can also wait until the sand is poured off of the plate before gluing the fish. Either way is fine.
  5. We used three fish, but you may use as many as you want. Arrange them to swim through the seagrass, or display two swimming side by side.
  6. Pour the sand off of the plate into the trash can.If you have small pebbles or any other decorations such as fish bubbles that you would like to add to your porthole window, you may do so at this point.
  7. Put glue around the rim of the blue paper plate. Take your porthole window and place it on top of the other plate. Press down to seal it. Let the glue dry.
  8. When the glue is dry and your plates are firmly stuck together punch 2 holes in the top of the plate and thread cord, string or yarn through the holes. Tie a knot in the string.
  9. Place a few dots around the edge of the porthole window to look like they are the rivets in the window.

You are done with your porthole window. It looks wonderful! Pretend that you are looking at Prince and Pirate’s fishbowl with your children while you read the story.


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Sandbox Play

Did you know that many varieties of fish eat sand to help with digestion and burrow in the sand for protection? For our activity, we are going to do the same. Grab some plastic fish, show your children some videos of fish burrowing into the sand, and encourage your children to make their plastic fish do the same as the fish in the video ( you can pretend it is the bottom of a fish tank or lake). When they are done filling their tank with fish, unpack the sand toys and have your kids dig for the hidden fish. Count the fish together after the digging is done.  If the children successfully retrieved all the fish, give them a reward (or high fives) for working well together.

For Parents: In “Prince and Pirate,” the characters struggled with sharing. Sandbox play provides a huge opportunity for sharing. Have your child play in the sandbox with friends or siblings and encourage them to share pails, shovels, and other play toys. Have them build roads, sand castles or sand caves together and remind them to ask if they can use a sand toy to build their sand creations if a sibling or friend is using what they want.


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Fish and chips

Make some fish and chips the easy way!

Ingredients and supplies:

  1. In a bowl toss together fish crackers and some of the potato chips. Fill the baking cups with the mixture.
  2. Cut out the Fish and Chips signs.
  3. Cut the craft sticks in half and attach one sign to each 1/2 craft stick (cut edge to the top).
  4. Insert the fish and chips sign into the side of the baking cup.
  5. Add your favorite drink and enjoy while you read the story.