A rollicking adventure awaits as Magnolia races into a store with her Christmas list trailing behind her.
In the vein of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, this cumulative story explains why “pirates are on the naughty list.” Magnolia is superexcited to meet Santa at the mall. The little girl decides to let a “bearded guy with a red suit and a bag full of treasures” who is definitely not Santa (he’s fishing pennies out of a fountain) join her family in the long line, promising her father that she’ll teach the pirate some manners. There’ll be no pillaging or plundering in the Santa line! But the pirate isn’t interested in manners. He bellows, “OOOOOOOOOH! / A hog-eye ship! And a hog-eye crew! / A hog-eye mate! And a skipper too!” at the top of his lungs, alarming the other people in line. The pirate is highly entertaining, the father oblivious, and the wait seemingly endless. But Magnolia takes charge until the pirate “changes his scurvy ways.” Fun, brightly colored illustrations (digitally drawn and painted) are perfect for the cartoonlike characters with exaggerated features. Varied perspectives amp the silliness high. The pirate epitomizes the conflicted feelings of a kid wanting to be patient and good so that their parents will reward them and bursting out with loud, bad behavior because they just can’t sit still. Magnolia, who appears to be Asian, is the oldest sibling in her interracial family; both Santa and the pirate present white.
Fans of the Magnolia Says Don’t! series and of mild chaos will get a kick out of this. (Picture book. 4-7)