Christmas comes but once a year. Luckily . . . The Christmas holiday is, traditionally, a time when families gather together. In Ralph's case this means ten or more relatives coming to stay, including assorted aunts and uncles, nutty Great-Aunt Ida (the Home tells them to be careful not to let her out) and his ghastly cousins: Titania in her silly, sick-making frilly fairy dresses and the twins Sylvester and Sylvia (it took until Easter last year before the family dog got over them).
Jammed into one small house for three days of merriment and family fun, with the tv on the blink and Mum on the verge of a breakdown, it soon becomes obvious that, in this house, more definitely does not mean merrier . . .
There used to be an empty chair at the back of my class, but now a new boy called Ahmet is sitting in it.
He's nine years old (just like me), but he's very strange. He never talks and never smiles and doesn't like sweets - not even lemon sherbets, which are my favourite!
But then I learned the truth: Ahmet really isn't very strange at all. He's a refugee who's run away from a War. A real one. With bombs and fires and bullies that hurt people. And the more I find out about him, the more I want to help.
That's where my best friends Josie, Michael and Tom come in. Because you see, together we've come up with a plan. . .
Meet LONG JOHN McRON, SHIP'S COOK . . . and the most unusual babysitter you've ever seen.
Long John has a whole crew of wild pirates in tow, and - for two intrepid children - he's about to transform a perfectly ordinary evening into a riotous adventure beneath a pirate moon. It's time to make some PIRATE STEW.
Pirate Stew! Pirate Stew!Pirate Stew for me and you!Pirate Stew, Pirate StewEat it and you won't be blueYou can be a pirate too!