Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates, illustrated by Sebastia Serra

A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates, illustrated by Sebastia Serra is a book I expected not to like, once I held it in my hands.  And, then I opened it up.  This happens to me a lot, the judging a book by its cover thing.  Oddly, the thing that turned me off was nothing major -- just the weird nose on the young pirate.  I don't know why, but I really dislike the dark noses throughout the book.

Otherwise, the text is cute and I found myself mentally singing A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas to the tune of the real "Twelve Days of Christmas" tune.  The rhythm fits.  There's a bit of introductory text before the author dives into the portion that fits the tune.  

Apart from strange noses, I absolutely love the illustrations in this book.  They're bright, cheery and bold.  You can see the colors absolutely leap out at you.  

A random bit of the text to show you a bit of the introductory rhyme along with an example of how well the rhyme fits the original tune:

But when I woke I saw a sight:  "What's this upon our ship?
Avast!" I cried, an' danced a jig.  A song burst from me lips.

On the first day of Christmas,
a gift was sent to me:
a parrot in a palm tree!
On the second day of Christmas,
a gift was sent to me:
2 cutlasses
an'a parrot in a palm tree.

Highly Recommended.  Gorgeous, bright illustrations (with noses I disliked, but that's kind of a, "Gosh, big woo" thing), fun text -- the 12 days portion of which fits the original song -- and a storyline that will keep you smiling all make for a truly entertaining book.  Santa is "jolly ol' Sir Peggedy", incidentally.  There is a terrific "Pirate Glossary" at the back of the book, as well.  So you can look up words like, "avast" and "landlubber".  Especially recommended to people who want to teach their kids how to talk like a pirate early, for ages 3 and up.

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.


  1. I agree. The nose is a bit odd.

    1. Oh, good, I'm glad you agree. I didn't know if that was just me. Otherwise, the illustrations really rock. If I was rating the book I'd give it a 4.5/5. I wouldn't knock much off for those crazy noses.


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