Hang High the Holly: A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas by Philip Yates
WHERE A SHIP SAILED THROUGH THE NIGHT.
ACROSS THE DARK AND BRINY DEEP
BENEATH THE STARS SO BRIGHT.
"AHOY, ME MATES!" THE CAP'N ROARED.
"'TIS TIME TO PLUNDER WRECKS--
EXCEPT FER YE, ME CABIN BOY--
YE'LL STAY AND SWAB THE DECKS."
The long-suffering cabin boy of the pirate ship Black Sark can't seem to catch a Christmas break. It's almost Yuletide, time for jolly ol' Sir Peggedy's annual visit, and all Cap'n has to say is "ARRGH! HUMBUG!"
But when our favorite swabby awakes the next morning, there's a surprise that brings a strangely familiar song to his lips, for on deck he finds
A PARROT IN A PALM TREE!
And the gifting continues for the next eleven days. Each day amazing items appear--two cutlasses, three black cats, four cacklin' hens, five chests of gold. There are Jolly Rogers, dolphins swimmin', mermaids singin', sloops a-sailin', swallows a-swoopin', and finally twelve pirates cheerin'! The piratical crew confesses that they have provided all the items in their song as their YARRful Yule gifts. And anchors aweigh, but there's jolly ol' Sir Peggedy hisself landin' on deck fer the big celebration.
Avast, all ye yulelubbers! Even grizzled marauders love to make merry, and Philip Yate's newest, A Pirate's Twelve Days of Christmas (Sterling) 2012), counts the days down to Christmas in briny, brawny buccaneer style. With its vivid, swirling illustrations by Sebastian Serra and its "Pirate Glossary," appended, all those landlubbin' mateys and hearties can weigh anchor and sail off with a new buccaneer carol for the holiday season. A perfect script for a primary-grade holiday production, this parody of the old song also pairs well with Yates' best-selling A Pirate's Night Before Christmas. (See my review here.)