'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 . . .
But nothing would stop
their white-whiskered foe.
No matter their efforts,
he just would not go!
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.
Holub and Magoon get medieval on Clement Clark Moore's classic holiday poem. Three knights stand guard in their castle on Christmas Eve, defending against any invaders including Santa. Santa lays siege ("dozens of sugarplums/ rained down on their heads") and eventually gets his presents over the castle walls. The knights, believing they have defended their castle well, settle into their holiday celebrations (they even bring his "catapult," a Christmas tree, inside in victory). It's a great premise let down by a convoluted and forced execution. Magoon's illustrations are vibrant and fun, but rampant punning and jokey asides, including snippets of reworked Christmas carol ("Go fah la la la la la far away!"), chip away at the story's momentum. Ages 5 8. Author's agent: Liza Pulitzer Voges, Eden Street Literary. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House.