About the BookTitle: The Knights Before Christmas | Author: Joan Holub | Illustrator: Scott Magoon | Publication Date: September 8, 2015 | Publisher: Macmillan / Henry Holt | Pages: 32 | Recommended Ages: 4 to 8
Goodreads | Indiebound | iBook | KoboBook Description:
'Twas December 24th, and three brave knights were just settling in for the night when out on the drawbridge, there arose such a clatter! The knights try everything to get rid of this unknown invader (Santa Claus!), a red and white knight with a fleet of dragons . . .This parody of Clement Clarke Moore's well-known poem 'Twas the Night Before Christmas is kid-friendly, clever, and just plain silly. Sure to become a holiday classic of a different kind!
But nothing would stop their white-whiskered foe. No matter their efforts, he just would not go!
The Buzz About the Book
“There's an excellent interplay between the amusing illustrations and the polished text, with lots of clever jokes for readers to discover in the art. These knights know how to keep the castle safe and the readers entertained”~ Kirkus Reviews
“A royal romp of holiday pratfalls and punnery. Yule love it!” ~ Tom Lichtenheld, bestselling illustrator of Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site
“A royal delight of a book! Sure to become a favorite holiday read-aloud in every household throughout the land!” ~ Judy Schachner, creator of the bestselling Skippyjon Jones
"A great premise...Magoon's illustrations are vibrant and fun...!" ~ Publishers Weekly
"This rousing, ridiculous medieval “Night Before Christmas” parody jingles with castle- and holiday wordplay. Cheeky digital illustrations brim with good cheer." ~ Horn Book
My Review and Art Project
They were giggling and laughing while I shouted, "Don't make a peep!"
Little J, with her blanket kept asking for me,
while the mess in my house was stretched as far as I could see.
So I sat them both down and begged that they'd yield,
to keep quiet and calm while making a shield.
My knights took their cardboard and aluminum foil,
and for at least twenty minutes dutifully did toil.
With stickers and sharpies they created their crest,
giving their mamma a moment of much needed rest.
They finished their shields and held them up high,
then pretended to battle with a menacing cry.
But first, my review....
Of all the children's books we have in our house, most books are read once or twice, and sooner or later we donate them. However, some books you know after the first read that they will become instant classics, to be enjoyed for years to come. The Knights of Christmas by Joan Holub and Scott Magoon is one of those books my children instantly fell in love with, requesting it to be read every night before bed since the day we received it in the mail.
The book puts a fresh, witty spin on the Christmas classic 'Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore. Chock full of homonyms, my oldest delighted in picking out how the author played with the words of the original classic poem. Nights turn to Knights and deer turn to dears, making this book an accidental literary lesson. Silent Knight was my favorite punny character of them all. My youngest certainly was smitten with the vibrant illustrations and how the knights misunderstood Santa Claus as an intruder. I mean any man sneaking into your house in the middle of the night any other night of the year would be considered an intruder. In fact, when my oldest was about three or four she actually tried to lock our fireplace because the idea freaked her out.
This book is so much fun and deserves to be read aloud next to twinkling lights the whole holiday season. If you are looking for the perfect gift to give on the night before Christmas, consider giving The Knights before Christmas.
The Knights of Christmas Shield Activity
- Old Cardboard Box cut into shield shape
- Masking Tape
- Aluminum Foil
- Ribbon (for the shield handle)
- Copy of The Knights Before Christmas for inspiration
We used masking tape to keep the foil in place.
Then the girls had fun making their own family crest of the shields with stickers and Sharpies.
I had these awesome castle and princess stickers.
After they were done decorating the shields, I braided some ribbon to be used as handles. Little J took taping the handles to the back of the shield very seriously.Both girls were very proud of their creations. Little J ran around the house declaring she was "Mike the Knight" from the Disney TV show. Little J cannot wait because they are having a Knights and Princess day at school tomorrow. She plans on bringing her shield and the book.
About the Author: Joan Holub
Joan Holub is the author of 140+ books for children including the acclaimed picture books Little Red Writing, The Knights Before Christmas, and Mighty Dads, a New York Times bestseller. Joan co-authors (with Suzanne Williams) three series: Goddess Girls (ages 8-12, Greek mythology with a middle school twist), Grimmtastic Girls (for ages 8-12, fairy tale adventure with a middle school twist), and Heroes in Training (ages 6-11, Greek mythology adventure chapter books). Watch for her upcoming chapter book, What Was Woodstock?, and her board book, This Little President, both available in early 2016!
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