Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Book Review: A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas, by Philip Yates; Illustrated by Sebastia Serra
2008, 32p, Christmas
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: Own a copy

Young mateys will find plenty of holiday joy in this humorous, colorful, and thoroughly piratical version of the beloved Clement C. Moore classic. On this ship of mischievous brigands—who have visions of treasure chests, not sugarplums, dancing in their heads—you wouldn’t expect a visit from nice St. Nick. Instead, here comes Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm, cracking his whip and driving eight giant seahorses: Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger, and Jolly.

Philip Yates’ rollicking rhymes and SebastiĆ  Serra’s sprightly, fun-filled pictures—featuring whimsically multicolored seahorses, stockings hung on the ship’s bowsprit with tar, child-friendly pirates, and a complete treasure map—turn this Christmas perennial into a jubilant celebration!

This book must be read in yer best pirate voice! My daughter read it out loud for the first time this year and she was nervous about talkin' like a pirate but she did just fine, Bucko! It's a cute take on The Night Before Christmas, with the pirates sleepin', snorin' and dreamin' of treasure chests. They're waitin' for Sir Peggedy to come in his sled led by eight giant seahorses. 

The story is light and the illustrations are fun to look at. There's also a Pirate Glossary in the back where we learn that Bucko is what pirates call their friends and "Avast!" is a pirate's way of saying, "Who goes there?" This is a fun, cute Christmas read for the pirate in all of us!

About the Author

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas is Philip's second picture book. His first, Ten Little Mummies, was nominated for the Black-Eyed Susan Picture Book Award. Ten Little Mummies was hailed by Horn book as "cheerfully offbeat addition to the genre," while Booklist called the book "an excellent read-aloud." Philip is the the co-author, with Matt Rissinger, of several books of humor for children, including Biggest Joke Book in the World, Great Book of Zany Jokes, and World's Silliest Jokes. Two new books of humor will also be out this fall, Galaxy's Greatest Giggles and Nuttiest Knock-Knocks. His poetry has appeared in Lee Bennett Hopkins' anthology, Dino Roars.

Philip's father was the first director of Dick Clark's American Bandstand and his mother was the prime jokester who inspired him with her jokes and witticisms.

Philip lives with his wife, Maria in Austin, Texas with their cat, Johnnie.


Taylor Dean said...

Hmmmm, sounds really cute. I'll have to pick this up for my grandson. He's obsessed with books! (takes after his grandma!)

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