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A Pirate's Night Before Christmas

Last updated Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Author: Philip Yates
Illustrator: Sebastiá Serra
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 1402742576
Grade Level: Kindergarten    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2018

Synopsis: On this ship of mischievous brigands—who have visions of treasure chests, not sugarplums, dancing in their heads—you wouldn’t expect a visit from nice St. Nick. Instead, here comes Sir Peggedy, with his peg leg and hook arm, cracking his whip and driving eight giant seahorses: Salty, Scurvy, Sinbad, Mollie, Cutthroat, Cross-Eyes, Roger, and Jolly.

Philip Yates’ rollicking rhymes and Sebastià Serra’s sprightly, fun-filled pictures—featuring whimsically multicolored seahorses, stockings hung on the ship’s bowsprit with tar, child-friendly pirates, and a complete treasure map—turn this Christmas perennial into a jubilant celebration!

Note to readers:
•  Pirate Glossary found in last pages

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you want to get for the holiday?
•  How do you celebrate the holiday season?
•  How can you tell it's the holiday season?


•  Mast - a long pole that rises from the bottom of a ship or boat and supports the sails
•  Spyglass - a small telescope
•  Enormous - very great in size, extent, number, or degree
•  Gleam - a brief beam or flash of light
•  Glee - high-spirited joy

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What gifts would a pirate want for the holiday?
•  How would you name the sea horses on Sir Peg's sleigh?
•  If you had a ship, what would you name it?

Craft ideas:
•  Make a pirate's ship out of a paper plate
•  Make a paper holiday stocking
•  Draw a treasure map to find the holiday gifts
•  Check our craft ideas on Pinterest!

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!