The book and movie are winners of 21 international awards, including Midwest Picture Book of the Year, Best Children's Program at the BLUE Ocean Film Festival, and a National Parenting Publications GOLD Award.

what is this program about?

Ahoy all ye scalliwags! This program is based around the book A Pirate's Quest (written by Laura and Robert Sams, illustrated by Heiner Hertling) and the movie The Riddle in a Bottle (written, directed, filmed, composed by Laura and Robert Sams). It is a wonderful, pirate-filled, ocean-filled, music-filled program that can be adapted for libraries, museums or schools. 


What inspired Laura and Robert to write a story about the ocean, and how did they come up with their ideas? How did they film the animals underwater like sharks and sea turtles? Play our game 'Whose Hiding?' to test you skills at finding animals hiding underwater.


Laura and Robert Sams are The Riddle Solvers from the movie. How did they write their funny dialogue? How did they compose their music in the story? And how did the movie inspire their book?

robert, the one-legged pirate

Robert Sams is the one-legged singing pirate in the movie, and the actual model for the pirate paintings in the book! First, ready your finest pirate voices and join Robert in singing The Peg Leg Song (a wonderful watershed song that inspired the book A Pirate's Quest)! Then discover how the song turned into a book!  Compare the rough draft to the final draft to see how it changed! How did the illustrator (Heiner Hertling) create the paintings? What other images could have been on the cover of the book? 

From a sketch to a photo to a painting in the book A Pirate's Quest

From a sketch to a photo to a painting in the book A Pirate's Quest

Thank you so much for being the highlight of our March is Reading Month Celebration. All grades, all genders, ethnicities and learners loved your presentations! Your presence made such an impact that we can’t keep the books on the shelves and the movies are getting check out over and over again! Thanks for sharing your love for literature, nature and enthusiasm! With much appreciation.
— Melissa C., Media Specialist