A Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Overview

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, ...
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Overview

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 Sebastià 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!
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for A Pirate's Night Before Christmas:
“Perfect fun, a treasure in every way.” —Children's Literature  “This is a belly laugh of a book for young buccaneers.” —Associated Press
“The robust verse sails along with gusto . . . ” —The Horn Book Magazine
“[A] pitch-perfect parody . . . the expertly rhymed text is packed full of pirate jargon . . . that beg[s] to be read aloud in rousing fashion.” —Kirkus Reviews
Children's Literature - Gwynne Spencer
Avast any landlubber who's tard of smilin' until yer cheeks hurt. An antidote is out there and it is this here book! If you are sick of reindeer and tinsel, grinches and gingerbread, this book will totally restore your love of Christmas celebrations. You will find yourself decorating with starfish, sharks, parrots, and seagulls. Instead of waiting for St. Nick, you will be dropping anchor waiting for Old Peg(leg) and his lazy seahorses. This spoof of The Night Before Christmas not only has perfectly, exactly, precise rhyme and meter, it has goofy, funny pictures and a sentiment that will have you hoisting the jolly roger over your chimney. Not the least of the fun is the incredibly phonetic pirate jargon throughout, as in " Away to the poop deck I ran very fast, I threw off the anchor and shouted AVAST" and the repeated use of "thar." It is as good as having one eye, a peg leg, or a permanently planted parrot perched on your shoulder to cure a serious case of the humbugs. The narrator is the only one who does not get a gift, but at the end, a treasure map with "X-mas marks the spot" wafts down from the departing Sir Peg whose wishes for everyone include the orders to have a "Merry Christmas, me buckos, an' a Happy New Yaargghhhhhhh!" I am putting this one under my grownup kids' Christmas trees to restore their love of the holiday. And I am decorating my tree pirate style. Perfect fun, a treasure in every way. This one you will never regret buying. I bet even Johnny Depp has a copy. Reviewer: Gwynne Spencer
School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 3

This rollicking, seafaring version of Moore's poem will give pirate fans a chuckle while not exactly establishing itself as a Christmas classic. The adapted rhymes scan fairly well: "'Twas the night before Christmas aboard the Black Sark ./Not a creature was stirrin', not even a shark!/The stockin's were stuck to the bowsprit with tar,/In hopes that Sir Peggedy soon would be thar." The pencil and ink illustrations have a vibrant, cluttered humor that is reminiscent of, though not as well executed as, those of Lane Smith. Sir Peg himself is a little hard to make out as a person, but this is a fun addition to the subgenre of wacky adaptations of the classic.-Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library

Kirkus Reviews
Yo-ho, ho, ho, ye landlubbers! Can that be Santa Claus with a black suit, skull-shaped earring and one shiny, gold tooth? And are those seahorses pulling a shell-shaped sleigh instead of reindeer? Aargh! Sir Peggedy's the name, pirating's the game, and a pitch-perfect parody is the definition of this witty take on the classic Christmas poem that will have pirate fans rolling on the poop deck with laughter. As narrated by a little redheaded pirate boy watching from aboard the Black Sark, the expertly rhymed text is packed full of pirate jargon and symbols, cleverly interwoven into the familiar lines that beg to be read aloud in rousing fashion. Serra's busy illustrations capture the pirate antics with a modern, moody edge, and a glossary defines all the pirate terms for little pirate wannabes. In the manner of many a pirate character, however, Sir Peggedy has a peg leg, an eye patch and a hook replacing one hand like Captain Hook, piratical literary conventions that may be seen as making light of legitimate disabilities. (Picture book. 4-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781454913573
  • Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/7/2014
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 6 Years

Meet the Author

Philip Yates lives in Austin, TX, and works in the Austin Public Library system. A Pirate's Night Before Christmas was his first picture book. It was so successful he created a sequel, A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas, which received praise from the Horn Book (“The pirate lingo and raucously detailed color-rich illustrations add seafaring flair to this holiday standard”) and Kirkus Reviews (“Avast, me hearties! Here be another bonny piratical parody ready for the readin' to the young'uns at the Christmas season.”)
 
Sebastiá Serra hails from Barcelona, Spain, where he studied Fine Arts at the Universitat de Barcelona. He is an award-winning illustrator whose work has appeared in magazines and on television. He has illustrated a number of picture books in Spain and in the US (including A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates). His work has also been displayed in exhibitions all over the world, spanning countries such as the US, Italy, Japan, China, and Korea.
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