Missile Toe: A Very Confused Christmas

Cover: Missile Toe: A Very Confused Christmas

Christmas can be a very confusing holiday. Just what are sugarplums anyway?! This collection of silly poems show classic Christmas carols and traditions reimagined through the eyes of a very confused kid. With illustrations from the hysterical Marty Kelley, this is a perfect pick for a holiday full of belly laughs.



  • Dewey: 811/.6
  • Graphics: Full-color illustrations
  • Hardcover (9781585363711): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2017, 09/15/2017
  • PDF (9781534103146): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2017, 09/15/2017
  • Hosted ebook (9781534103290): 32 pages, 9 (w) x 11 (h), © 2017, 09/15/2017
  • Subject: Language Arts


  • Suggested Interest Level: Age 5 - Age 8
  • Suggested Reading Level: Grade 1
  • Lexile® Measure: 580
  • Guided Reading Level: Q
  • Accelerated Reader® Quiz: Pending

BISAC Subjects


Publishers Weekly - Missile Toe: A Very Confused Christmas

Puns and misheard Christmas carol lyrics abound in this goofy collection of a dozen holiday-themed poems from news anchor and children’s book author Scillian. Writing mostly in rhymed couplets, he contemplates the mysteries of what decking the halls means and what sugarplums are before moving on to poems with titles like “Beth the Ham” (about a spotlight-hogging sheep in a school play), “Wild Shepherds Washed Their Flocks by Night,” and “Round John Verjun,” about a mystery guest at the stable in Bethlehem (“Joseph leans in. ‘How do you do?/ I hate to be rude, but who are you?’ ”). The rhymes tend to be corny, but there are some winners in the bunch (“Angels we half heard on high, mumbling something in the sky”), and Kelley’s energetic pencil-and-watercolor images tap into the atmosphere of silliness.


Author: Devin Scillian

Devin Scillian is an award-winning author and Emmy award-winning broadcast journalist. He has written more than 10 books with Sleeping Bear Press, including the best-selling A is for America: An American Alphabet, Brewster the Rooster, Johnny Kaw and Memoirs of a Hamster. Devin lives in Michigan and anchors the news for WDIV-TV in Detroit.

Illustrator: Marty Kelley

Marty Kelley is an author and illustrator of children’s books but has, in the past, been a second grade teacher, a baker, a cartoonist, a newspaper art director, and (among other things) a drummer in a heavy metal band. He lives in New Hampshire with his wife and children.