Matt Tavares Books
shopschool visitseventsmailing listnewsblogbiocontact

text by Kristin Kladstrup, illustrations by Matt Tavares

*starred review in Publisher's Weekly

gingerbread pirates

It's Christmas Eve, and Jim and his mother are making pirate gingerbread men to leave for Santa. Jim's favorite is Captain Cookie, who carries a gingerbread cutlass and has a toothpick peg leg.

The captain is much too good to be eaten, so Jim keeps him close by his bed. But late that night, when Jim is fast asleep, Captain Cookie steptaps away on a daring adventure to find his pirate crew -- and rescue them from that mysterious character he's heard about: a cannibal named Santa Claus.

At once contemporary and timeless, suspenseful and joyous, this masterfully illustrated tale is destined to be a new holiday classic. What if a brave Captain Cookie stood up to Santa? A fresh, funny story that sparkles with all the excitement of a pirate adventure -- and all the magic of Christmas morning.


"Swashbuckling gusto and a poignant finish should make this a new favorite"
*Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"... Large in scale and dramatic in effect, watercolor-and-gouache paintings create believable settings, sometimes seen from unusual perspectives, and sympathetically portray the characters, especially the pirates, whose icing-sugar mouths and eyes are surprisingly expressive. Children will enjoy knowing more about Christmas than the pirate captain, who bravely charges himself into a situation he doesn't understand and challenges an unexpectedly benevolent foe. Fine for reading aloud, this secular seasonal story combines pirates and Christmas in a childlike, imaginative picture book."

"Tavares's vivid watercolor and gouache paintings dramatize Kladstrup's lively text with vigor in this imaginative adventure story."
-The Horn Book

"An exciting story and full-page, dramatically composed paintings depicting harrowing adventures with a mouse, a cat, and the crew imprisoned in a cookie jar make this a good holiday read-aloud."
-School Library Journal

"Cookie's-eye-view illustrations and a story enlivened with dialogue make this boy's version of the Nutcracker sparkle."
-Foreword Magazine

shopschool visitseventsmailing listnewsblogbiocontact
THE GINGERBREAD PIRATES. Text Copyright © 2009 Kristin Kladstrup . Illustrations © 2009 Matt Tavares. Candlewick Press, Cambridge, MA.