cover image The Navy’s Night Before Christmas

The Navy’s Night Before Christmas

Trish Holland and Christine Ford, illus. by John Manders. Random/Golden, $10.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-385-36998-5

A young sailor on lookout duty aboard an aircraft carrier narrates this tongue-in-cheek restaging of Clement Clarke Moore’s poem, a companion to The Soldiers’ Night Before Christmas. Holland and Ford swap out the chubby, bearded Santa for a brawny “Master Chief Claus,” who arrives via a Greyhound cargo aircraft filled with presents. “A salty old dog, he was all chest and arm./ I bet he could bench-press a Jeep with no harm,” gushes the narrator, before the Chief and his crew deliver gifts for the sleeping sailors: “Garcia and Washington, Collins and Yee,/ and Williams and Rubin, and Clark and Ali./ ‘Our mission tonight: to take care of our own,/ Bringing joy to our sailors with gifts straight from home.’ ” Manders’s retro caricatures infuse the sailors with personality in this shipshape twist on a holiday favorite. Ages 4–8. (Sept.)