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The Knights Before Christmas
     

The Knights Before Christmas

5.0 1
by Joan Holub, Scott Magoon (Illustrator)
 

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'Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .

But nothing would stop
their white-whiskered foe.
No matter their efforts

Overview

'Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .

But nothing would stop
their white-whiskered foe.
No matter their efforts,
he just would not go!

This parody of Clement Clarke Moore's well-known poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly—sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind.

A Christy Ottaviano Book

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/14/2015
Holub and Magoon get medieval on Clement Clark Moore’s classic holiday poem. Three knights stand guard in their castle on Christmas Eve, defending against any invaders—including Santa. Santa lays siege (“dozens of sugarplums/ rained down on their heads”) and eventually gets his presents over the castle walls. The knights, believing they have defended their castle well, settle into their holiday celebrations (they even bring his “catapult,” a Christmas tree, inside in victory). It’s a great premise let down by a convoluted and forced execution. Magoon’s illustrations are vibrant and fun, but rampant punning and jokey asides, including snippets of reworked Christmas carol (“Go fah la la la la la far away!”), chip away at the story’s momentum. Ages 5–8. Author’s agent: Liza Pulitzer Voges, Eden Street Literary. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

“There's an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations and the polished text, with lots of clever jokes for readers to discover in the art. These knights know how to keep the castle safe and the readers entertained” —Kirkus Reviews

This medieval “Night Before Christmas” parody jingles with castle- and holiday wordplay. Cheeky digital illustrations brim with good cheer."-The Horn Book

“This story does for numbers what Laurie Keller did for states.” —Booklist on Zero the Hero by Joan Holub

“Read this aloud to whet the new reader's appetite, but there is just so much to see that only a slow reading, with a magnifying glass in hand, will do.” —The Horn Book Magazine on Zero the Hero by Joan Holub

“* Richly composed and sweetly appealing.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review on Breathe by Scott Magoon

“Entertaining and clever--and that's no lie.” —Kirkus Reviews on The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot by Scott Magoon

Children's Literature - Joyce Rice
It is hard to find another way to interpret Clement Moore’s “The Night Before Christmas.” The reader will smile as he listens to the familiar strains of the original, fitted into this new telling of the story. Three brave knights live together in a great castle. As they are settling in for the night, they hear clatter on the drawbridge. The brave knight guarded the staircase to prevent intruders from entering the castle. The polite knight used his pen to issue warnings to anyone who might try to enter and the silent knight just continued to prepare for a good night’s sleep. Suddenly, on the snow below, they see a little bearded man in a red suit with a vehicle led by what must be eight dragons. The man calls to them about a flight and a chimney; but the knights know nothing about these things, or about a little bearded man. Surely he is trying to enter their castle and do them harm, so they set about trying to prevent this from happening. They consult the king’s book for advice and, much like Parish’s Amelia Bedelia, misinterpret their instructions. The bearded man continues trying to fulfill his purpose in leaving gifts on Christmas Eve. No matter how hard he tries, the knights find a way to stop him. Young readers will be giggling at the antics of the knights to prevent Santa Claus from leaving his gifts. Magoon’s illustrations are simple yet colorful and replete in detail, with gold bells on the harness of the reindeer and gingerbread men on the tree. Reviewer: Joyce Rice; Ages 5 to 9.
School Library Journal
10/01/2015
K-Gr 3—There is a market for spoofs of Clement Moore's poem, with pirate and cowboy versions only two of the many humorous takes on the classic. This version is as creaky as the armor of the "three knights ding-a-ling" who attempt to repel the invading Santa Claus and his eight dragons. The Adobe Photoshop cartoon illustrations have dialogue bubbles and weak jokes that don't really go anywhere. VERDICT An additional purchase only.—Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
2015-08-12
Three young knights defend their castle from "a red-and-white knight and eight dragons. Oh dear!" Santa travels back in time to a fanciful medieval Europe with knights, lords, and castles in this clever parody of "The Night Before Christmas." The text unfolds in pitch-perfect rhymes that follow the basic pattern of the classic poem, with the addition of witty wordplay incorporated into speech balloons and in signs, lists, and banners on the castle walls. The three knights are named Brave Knight, Polite Knight, and Silent Knight, each with a distinct, appropriate personality. When Santa arrives to deliver gifts to the castle, the knights see him as an intruder and try to repel his advances. Santa is just as determined as the knights to succeed in his own mission. He flings his presents and holiday decorations into the castle with an evergreen-tree catapult, which the knights then appropriate for the castle's Christmas tree. Digitally produced illustrations in deep jewel tones successfully bring to life the complex physical world of the castle and skillfully meet the logistical challenges of the knights' battle of airborne gifts with Santa. There's an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations and the polished text, with lots of clever jokes for readers to discover in the art. These knights know how to keep the castle safe and the readers entertained. (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780805099324
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date:
09/08/2015
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
720,029
Product dimensions:
9.20(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Joan Holub is the author and illustrator of more that 130 children's books, including Zero the Hero, Little Red Writing, and the Goddess Girls series. She lives in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Scott Magoon is the illustrator of many books for young readers, including Spoon and Chopsticks by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, and the author and illustrator of The Boy Who Cried Bigfoot and Breathe. The art director at Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, he lives in the Boston area with his wife and two sons.

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The Knights Before Christmas 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
You all know the poem “Twas The Night Before Christmas. I remember it from a very young age. My brothers and sisters and I used to like to make up our own words for the rhyming.That’s what Joan Holub has done. Brave Knight, Polite Knight, and Silent Knight, three valiant young lads, must man the battlements, keeping the mysterious invader and his eight fierce dragons from entering the castle. What a delightful story. The author got very creative with her telling. And she also had a fun little twist on the spirit of giving. The book is large but not very thick. Easy for young readers to hold or for parents to read out loud to their kids. The pages are thick and glossy with so many colorful, delightful scenes. And there’s plenty of silly comments to make you and your little ones giggle. “Jingle bells. Invader smells. Jingle all the waaay…” A new book to add to your holiday tradition, reading it over and over.. I received this book for my honest review.