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by Rebecca Colby ; illustrated by Rob McClurkan

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-8075-1063-6
Publisher: Whitman

“ ’Twas the night before Christmas and all through the ship, / the pirates were planning a plundering trip.”

And so, to the meter and cadence of “A Visit from Saint Nicholas,” Capt. Bling and his crew are blown off course and run aground at the North Pole. Spying all the presents in Santa’s workshop, the pirates storm it and run off with the loot. Sack on his back, Santa and the elves give chase, but “a sack versus swords was a surefire disaster,” and in short order Santa’s being forced to walk the plank. But it turns out he was chasing the pirates because he realized they’ve been neglected all these years and he wanted to make up with some gifts. Capt. Bling and the crew happily accept Santa’s gifts but refuse to give back those they’ve stolen, instead hitching the reindeer to their bow and flying off into the night. Of course, they are doing this so they can deliver the toys themselves. It’s an anemic tale, and children will wonder at Santa’s decision to reward the pirates after they steal all the toys. In McClurkan’s illustrations Santa is white, Capt. Bling is brown, and both elves and pirates are multiracial. (In attire, the elves look more than a bit like those in the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer animated TV special.)

For settings in which pirates must be incorporated into everything

. (Picture book. 4-8)