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Monday, December 24, 2012

Review: A Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Day 6!

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates
Illustrated by Sebastia Serra

"'Twas the night before Christmas aboard the Black Stark. 
Not a creature was stirrin', not even a shark!"

This book is a lot of fun to read! It's basically The Night Before Christmas but written in pirate speak and it takes place on a ship. The book still has the awesome rhyme that goes through everything. Pirate slang is used throughout the book which makes it fun.

Instead of Santa Claus, this book has Sir Peg and the eight reindeer are eight seahorses named Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger, and Jolly!

I think this take on the classic story would be entertaining to children. Especially children who like pirates! Andy is a sailor and I knew he would love this book! He and his brother love pirate talk too, so that makes it even better. Philip Yates and Sebastia Serra released another pirate Christmas tale in October. This book is titled A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas. I assume it's very similar in concept to this book. From the front cover you can see that the illustrations are very similar.

The illustrations in this book are fun and colorful. Every page is a full bleed two page spread. Since it's a Christmas book, red and green are pretty big colors throughout, but since it's also on the ocean, blue's an important color too! This story is very cheerful and the reader can see this through the illustrations. All the characters are smiling and happy in the pictures. According to the book, the illustrations were created with pencil and ink on parchment and then digitally colored. I think that really helps to keep the colors bright and lively.


At Cynsations, you can read an interview with Philip Yates, the author, about A Pirate's Night Before Christmas. I believe that this is Sebastia Serra's illustrator blog, however, the whole thing is written in Spanish since he lives in Barcelona, Spain and I can't read any of it! The blog is mostly pictures though.

At the end of the book, there's a "Pirate Glossary" which defines many of the pirate words in the book. Including the glossary keeps the book light and funny and it is a great way for readers to fully understand the story. The author adds his sense of humor to this part of the book as well. As all Night Before Christmas stories end, so does this one...

"Merry Christmas, me buckos, an' a Happy New Yaargghhhhhhh!"

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