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‘Deadliest Catch’ captain pens swashbuckling adventure books for kids

Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Hilstrand says the drawings in his children's books keep getting better and better.(Image courtesy Peanut Butter Publishing)

The tough as nails captains aboard the crabbing boats featured on Discovery’s “Deadliest Catch” aren’t exactly the first people you’d think of when talking about children’s book authors.

It was actually during a hospital stay after being thrown from a bull and breaking four ribs that Time Bandit Captain Johnathan Hilstrand found his inspiration.

“I didn’t know Sharpies came in so many colors,” says Hilstrand of the myriad of Sharpie pen colors he discovered while laid up in a hospital bed.

“I never planned on writing a kid’s book, but I always doodled and I always drew when I was a kid,” Hilstrand tells 770 KTTH host David Boze.

While in the hospital, Hilstrand began drawing little characters for his grandkids with his pack of Sharpies.

“I ended up writing a little story about a little bird that wanted to be a pirate.”

That little story became his first children’s book, “The Adventures of Little Bird: Pirate Dreams,” which is about a bird who wants to be a pirate, but is told he’s too small. In the end, Hilstrand says the bird proves he can be a great pirate regardless of his size.

“The lesson is no matter what anybody says, if you put your mind to it and you work hard, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish,” says Hilstrand, who then penned one more book, “The Adventures of Joey and Andy Crabs.”

He says this one teaches kids it’s important to listen to your parents and stay in school.

Hilstrand says the illustrations in the first book are OK, but he’s really getting better and better with each book.

The two children’s books are available for sale at or

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