Saturday, September 5, 2015

Almost here! The Knights Before Christmas

On Christmas Eve, three little knights guard their castle 
against a red-and-white invader: Santa Claus!

Visit illustrator Scott Magoon’s site for his holiday playlist 
and a peek at his preliminary sketches 

Join Joan Holub at Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, NC for a celebration of The Knights Before Christmas on September 26 (Saturday, 2pm). Castle catapult games and snacks!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Knights Before Christmas
Christmas in September?
Seriously, it's almost half off the cover price if you pre-order right now! 

'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!

Kirkus Reviews:
Three young knights defend their castle from "a red-and-white knight and eight dragons. Oh dear!" Santa travels back in time to a fanciful medieval Europe with knights, lords, and castles in this clever parody of "The Night Before Christmas." The text unfolds in pitch-perfect rhymes that follow the basic pattern of the classic poem, with the addition of witty wordplay incorporated into speech balloons and in signs, lists, and banners on the castle walls. The three knights are named Brave Knight, Polite Knight, and Silent Knight, each with a distinct, appropriate personality. When Santa arrives to deliver gifts to the castle, the knights see him as an intruder and try to repel his advances. Santa is just as determined as the knights to succeed in his own mission. He flings his presents and holiday decorations into the castle with an evergreen-tree catapult, which the knights then appropriate for the castle's Christmas tree. Digitally produced illustrations in deep jewel tones successfully bring to life the complex physical world of the castle and skillfully meet the logistical challenges of the knights' battle of airborne gifts with Santa. 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. (Picture book. 4-8)