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The Gingerbread Pirates

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  772 Ratings  ·  117 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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The Library Lady
Dec 05, 2009 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 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 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 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
Steve Holden
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Christmas Book? Pirate Book? Is it possible to have confusion of where a story fits with those two categories? It is here! This one is hysterical! An original pirates story as told through characters that are gingerbread men - all connected to Christmas. The premise, title, and illustrations are entertaining enough for kids. The content and style will keep them entertained while also making adults smile (it did me!). This is the recipe for a good, original picturebook for me!
Jul 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: children
If you're looking for a children's Santa-themed story about pirates, this'll scratch that itch. I enjoyed the details in the illustrations that suggested the little boy is obsessed with pirates (his clock, the pirate nutcracker, the skull and crossbones on his stocking). However, I read it a second time with the theory that it's really the mother who is obsessed by pirates.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this book with my three year old a couple of nights ago. He absolutely loved it and now it is a favorite! It is in the rotation of books we read every night now. It has Santa Clause and pirates. It doesn’t get better than that!
Ms. Martin
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful book that the students in my class cannot get enough of. We read it multiple times this year and the story kept popping up in journals all week and in conversations. Every part of this book is a great adventure for children.
Dec 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christmas-books
really funny!
Jun 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
If the Hallmark Channel tried to do a mashup between Treasure Island and the Nutcracker for their 12 Days of Family Christmas lineup, it would be this book.
Jolyce Abernathy
Dec 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Captain Pirate cookie saves his crew of pirate cookies from the "cannibal Santa Claus". Funny, cute and clever!
Melissa McAlvey
Jan 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kids, picture-books
The girlies and Todd all thought this one was fun.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Want a Christmas book you can use your pirate voice for? This is a new favorite at our house. It's a sweet story (get what I did there?) filled with Santa's magic.
Anne Soderlund
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fun read for Christmas season. Spoiler alert - Santa does not eat the pirate crew. Wishes are granted.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it
A fun Christmas-pirate adventure story!
Katie Krimmel
Sep 27, 2012 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
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
Dec 14, 2011 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
Paige Freeman
Feb 21, 2015 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 17, 2014 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
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.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
When a young boy decides to make pirate gingerbread cookies for Christmas, he doesn't realize the grand adventure they will have waiting for Santa. The gingerbread captain tries valiantly to rescue his crew from being eaten by the mysterious Santa Claus. He explores the house and discovers all kinds of Christmas decorations. Santa discovers the cookies and must decide what to do with them. My son loved this book. We will definitely be revisiting it closer to the holidays.
Dec 16, 2011 rated it liked it
This was an accessory book for our gingerbread week. :)

It was cute and the kids loved it. The circulation lady at the library said it was HILARIOUS, and while I did not really agree, it was definitely readable and they wanted me to read it every single day. The illustrations were cute, too.

I did have to explain what a "cannibal" was... kind of a weird conversation to have with 6-year-olds, haha!
Feb 06, 2014 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.
Adrith Bicchieri
Found this book while auditioning picture books for my upcoming Gingerbread Storytime. It is a perfect holiday book for young adventurers who celebrate Christmas. Gingerbread cookie pirates face off against the known cookie cannibal, Santa Claus.

Matt Tavares' whimsical illustrations make me long for cookie-baking time. Soon! Soon!
Jul 01, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fun book about Christmas with gorgeous illustrations and an entertaining narrative that evokes the wonder and magic of Christmas and Santa Claus. I love that the story depicts the little boy baking cookies with his mom; it's a tale that will appeal to both girls and boys. We enjoyed reading this book together.
Sep 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was nothing like I thought. I thought it was another version of the gingerbread man with a pirate theme, but I was wrong. This was a fun Christmas story about a Gingerbread Pirate made by a young boy who came to life Christmas Eve and went on a search to save his crew from that cookie eating man Santa Claus. It was a fun story time read.
Avast, me mateys!! This book is a great new Christmas story for all the pirate lovers in your family. The boy and hi mom bake gingerbread men as pirates and they set a few out for Santa Claus. Captain Cookie is left by the boy's bed at night but the Captain goes off to seek out his crew. A Christmas adventure.
Janastasia Whydra
Kristin Kladstrup's The Gingerbread Pirates is a sweet Christmas story about how the magic of Christmas and Santa Clause can turn ordinary pirate cookies into special toys that won't be eaten. Good book to read around Christmas time, although there doesn't appear to be much of a message behind the story.
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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.
More about Kristin Kladstrup