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The Gingerbread Pirates

4.03  ·  Rating Details  ·  540 Ratings  ·  94 Reviews
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.

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 capta
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Candlewick Press
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How I Became a Pirate by Melinda LongPirates Don't Change Diapers by Melinda LongShiver Me Letters by June SobelThe Night Pirates by Peter HarrisThe Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup
Picture Books About Pirates
5th out of 69 books — 49 voters
A Christmas Carol by Charles DickensHow the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
255th out of 795 books — 1,103 voters

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Community Reviews

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The Library Lady
Dec 05, 2009 The Library Lady rated it really liked it
It takes a lot to come up with an original idea for a Christmas book, but Kladstrup has done it. Pirates! A gingerbread theme that isn't Holly Hobbie cute! Santa as a potential villain--though of course he turns out to be a nice guy after all. And a happy ending.

Only one thing missing. There should have been a recipe for those gingerbread pirates--but would the kids have EATEN them?
Dec 19, 2012 Nancy rated it it was amazing
I have to admit, I had never thought of Santa Claus as a cannibal, but now that I see the world through the eyes of a gingerbread man, I can see his point quite clearly.

This year as little Jim is making Christmas cookies with his mother he has a brilliant idea, since pirates are his favorite thing, why not make gingerbread men that look like pirates.

That evening, as Jim is going to sleep, he wishes that Captain Cookie had a pirate ship.

They must have been magical words since suddenly Captain Coo
Dec 12, 2014 Rachael rated it it was amazing
While looking for a Christmas book other than a Nickelodeon-esque retelling of The Night Before Christmas at BN last night, I found this and knew my littles would love it, and they did! Luckily I enjoyed it too, since they want me to read it every night before bed until Christmas (and probably after as well!)

Nov 24, 2015 Alice rated it liked it
3.75 stars A cute book with a fun twist. Great illustrations, interesting story...a l of Christmas Magic! Another nicely illustrations book by Matt Tavares
The Book Maven
Imaginative Jim has a great idea— “Let’s make gingerbread pirates!” he proposes to his mother on Christmas Eve. Captain Cookie, Jim’s favored creation, even has a peg-leg (in the form of a toothpick) and even comes to bed with Jim rather than being set for Santa to eat. But as we all know, animals talk and inanimate items come to life on Christmas Eve. And Captain Cookie, devoted to his gingerbread men, and is appalled to hear that Santa Claus is coming to eat them.

Never fear, for a happy endin
Paige Freeman
Feb 21, 2015 Paige Freeman rated it it was amazing
Shelves: traditonal-tales
I absolutely loved this book! I stumbled upon this story while searching for a different gingerbread tale and I am very glad I did! I loved how this story puts a completely different spin on the traditional tale. I was drawn to this story because of the illustrations and the theme of pirates. I think that my class would be highly interested in this tale and would get a kick out of the captain interacting with Santa. I thought that this story also had a strong opportunity for rich vocabulary expo ...more
Feb 27, 2014 Daniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: holiday
This book goes to show that when you write a story about gingerbread men, they don't have to be plain. When we think of gingerbread men, we usually picture them with frosting smiles, gumdrop buttons, and not much else. I would've never thought about a gingerbread pirate before I read this book. I kinda wished this was a series of some sort with all kinds of gingerbread men (think about it, gingerbread cowboys, gingerbread aliens, gingerbread policemen, gingerbread superheroes, etc.) I'm sure aft ...more
Feb 06, 2014 Alyn rated it really liked it
I felt this book was well done. There is a bit of Christmas magic in it.

It's Christmas eve and the captain of gingerbread pirates goes on a search for the rest of his crew. He has heard that someone wants to eat them. Not only does he find his crew, but Santa too. The funny thing is that none of them know who Santa is or even about Christmas. What happens to them at the end of the story is a nice twist. I didn't see it coming at all. My son didn't understand what happened.
Alissa Sparks
This book is one of my favorite holiday books because it makes me see how one can be creative making gingerbread cookies. I find students would like this story and want to go home and make their own. Or if I do an activity in class for Christms, I could have them decorate their own gingerbread houses just like these Pirates. Oh what cool houses would be made. What happy faces all young students would have.
Katie Krimmel
Oct 24, 2012 Katie Krimmel rated it it was amazing
You’ll need your pirate hat and sword for this book by Kristin Kladstrup. It’s about gingerbread pirates made by a little boy named Jim. He decides to save his favorite gingerbread that he names Captain Cookie and he has peg leg made from a toothpick. Late at night when everyone has gone to sleep Captain Cookie comes alive and sets off on a daring adventure to save his crew from being eaten by Santa Claus.

The Gingerbread Pirates is such a fun and adventurous book for any little kid during Chris
Just as the Gingerbread Man came to life and rolled down a hill to avoid being eaten, so does Captain Cookie, a gingerbread pirate fashioned by Jim and his mother on Christmas Eve. Jim always leaves a snack for Santa, but he sets aside one cookie that he loves--Captain Cookie, fashioned with a toothpick pegleg and a cutlass at his side. After Jim falls asleep, Captain Cookie goes in search of his crew, intent on saving them from the cannibal Santa. But Santa turns out to be a kindly man, and in ...more
Nov 23, 2014 Alexandra rated it it was ok
Didn't really care for this one. The illustrations were nice but pirates aren't really my cup of tea and I didn't really get the ending. Was the captain cookie turned into a toy or did the boy just like the toy in place of the cookie? It's weird that a child's book confuses me but like..
Dec 14, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
The Gingerbread Pirates, written by Kristin Kladstrup and illustrated by Matt Tavares, is a perfect Christmas book for boys--or anyone who loves pirates!

When Jim gets the idea to make a crew of gingerbread pirates, he never expects them to come to life. When Jim is sleeping and waiting on Santa to arrive, the pirates, led by Captain Cookie, try to band together so that this mysterious Santa Claus doesn't eat them. When they meet the jolly old man, however, the pirates are in for a bit of a surp
Riley Sorem
This holiday tale is definitely original. Jim and his mom make gingerbread pirates and ;eave them out for Santa. Santa meets the crew and turns them into wooden pirates to be a gift for Jim. This is a cute simple story that is perfect treat for the holidays.
John Hall
Nov 30, 2015 John Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So much fun!

I love reading this to my boys every Christmas season. I had it in paperback but it was wearing out so I was excited to see it for the kindle. My boys are 8 & 9 now and still thoroughly enjoy this exciting and cute story.
Feb 20, 2014 Julianna rated it it was amazing
Shelves: february
Super adorable picture book, also one of my favorites. I love the illustrations, the plot, the characters, everything about it. The story was really creative and funny, and i loved the originality.
Oct 16, 2014 Susie rated it it was amazing
Cute, clever holiday book. I love the imagination. This season I shall be making gingerbread pirates with my grandsons. I know this book will be a favorite with them.
Feb 04, 2016 Staciel rated it it was amazing
Beloved in our house since its release in 2009.. by both my son AND my daughter-- and that is saying something, because they never agree on A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G!
Katie Casey
May 01, 2014 Katie Casey rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-to-kids
Yes, a Christmas book in the spring. But it's about pirates and Santa Claus so it's obviously a classic suitable for reading any time. ;-)
Nov 30, 2015 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
This book captures the magic of Santa, pirates, and gingerbread in a sweet and inventive way. Loved it!
The Book Box
Dec 24, 2015 The Book Box added it
Shelves: library
Mama read this to me this morning. I liked the illustrations of the pirate cookies.
Robin Raines-Bond
This is a great original Christmas story. Fun illustrations with a magical ending.
The kids like the story of the gingerbread man and William likes pirates a bit, so I took this one out. The whole family enjoyed it, especially the magic at the end.
Cute! These are some seriously adventurous gingerbread men.
Some adorable swash-buckling fun!
Jan 21, 2016 Cindy rated it it was amazing
Sweet kids' book about perspective.
May 04, 2015 Melissa rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-or-teens
My kids love this one!
Shannon Pauley
Dec 22, 2014 Shannon Pauley rated it it was amazing
Absolutely hilarious
Jan 13, 2016 Sharon rated it really liked it
Oh what fun!
Feb 11, 2014 Rida rated it liked it
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Kristin Kladstrup is the author of the middle-grade novel THE BOOK OF STORY BEGINNINGS and the picture book THE GINGERBREAD PIRATES. She lives near Boston, Massachusetts.
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