cover image A Very Pirate Christmas

A Very Pirate Christmas

Timothy Knapman, illus. by Russell Ayto. Egmont UK (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $10.99 paper (32p) ISBN 978-1-4052-6504-1

The Grinch has nothing on the robot pirates who kidnap Santa and steal Christmas for themselves in this wild holiday mashup. After using Santa’s sleigh to steal from every house they visit, the pirates host their own celebration back aboard their ship: “Look at us, we’ve plundered/ every Christmas thing we could./ There’s nothing for the children—/ serves them right for being good.” Knapman’s rollicking rhymes are well matched by Ayto’s childlike illustrations, which imagine the pirates as pill-shaped robots with toothy grins, eye patches, and wiry appendages. When the pirates’ raucous partying wakes cabin boy Pip, he saves the day by freeing Santa and forcing the pirates to return their booty before any of the world’s children are the wiser. An anarchic Christmas story that is all but certain to delight. Ages 3–5. (Sept.)