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*2005 Boston Globe
Kristin Kladstrup writes The Gingerbread Pirates. Matt Tavares illustrates the Christmas picture book. The hardback review copy has thirty-two pages. The colorful book is 10 by 12 inches. Large fonts and pictures make it a great circle book. The picture book is for kids between four and eight-years-old. Younger children will enjoy the talking gingerbread men, but supervise them. This is not a board book.
It is Christmas Eve. Jim is baking gingerbread cookies with his mom. He decides to bake pirates instead of the traditional boys and girls. Gingerbread cools on racks. Captain Cookie is in the batch. He overhears Jim discussing this Santa Claus fellow who eats pirates! Cannibalism scares the captain. He must save his fellow shipmates! Will he help them escape their glass prison? Will Santa Claus eat each and everyone?
Kristin Kladstrup writes a satisfying combination Christmas and pirate story. It is understandable that Captain Cookie believes Santa Claus means harm to him and his crew. The Gingerbread Pirates is about friendship. Captain Cookie could have escape trouble, but remains to help his friends. It is also about the wonder of Christmas. Santa Claus solves the dilemma to everyone’s satisfaction. The last two pages are priceless.
Matt Tavares illustrations are perfect. They are large, clear and not abstract. Preschool and elementary kids will recognize the traditional holiday activities and symbols. The baking of cookies, the lush green Christmas tree, leaving cookies for Santa and most of all, the Christmas morning gifts are familiar to them. Tavares’ pictures complements the humorous Christmas book, The Gingerbread Pirates. Oh yes, look for the little mouse enjoying her Christmas nibbles.
Children need to have a regular routine. A set bedtime and place to sleep are part of the daily routine. Read a bedtime story as part of the nightly ritual. Read quiet, soothing books to children in their warm, comfortable bed. This allows a child to associate reading with comfort and security. The association will last a lifetime.
"A home without books is a body without soul."---Marcus Tullius Cicero
Pirate Story Books for Children
Juvenile/Kids Christmas Books
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Note: The review book was free from Candlewick Press.
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