Whose tiny faces are peeking out from Santa's golden sleigh? Yikes! It's two of Santa's elves who are Christmas Eve stowaways. Beloved illustrator Jan Brett's version of The Night Before Christmas
lets these two mischievous elves add their rambunctious spirit to this familiar 1823 rhyming story. Here, Santa and his reindeer land on the snowy roof of a Victorian mansion in New England. While Santa delivers the toys inside, the elves and the reindeer frolic around the lawn, as a pig (earmarked for a girl named Jan) and a few alphabet blocks spill out of sacks into the snow. Santa swiftly reins in the mischief-makers and "away they all flew like the down on a thistle." Brett's richly illustrated borders are lavishly decorated with antique toys, ornaments, and sweet treats, all surrounded with twisting golden ribbons. They also give us a window on the mansion's inhabitants, including the children watching Santa's departure in awe. A sugarplum of a Christmas story, just right for a reading before "a long winter's nap." (Click to see a sample spread
. Illustrations ©1998 by Jan Brett. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a division of Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.) (Ages 3 to 6) --Marcie Bovetz
Spirin stays close to the conventional, nostalgic views, setting his scenes in a yesteryear European village visited by a Santa straight from central casting, all sparkling blue eyes and bushy white beard. Dabbed with gold and scrolled with fine brushwork, the paintings beautifully contrast the colors of moonlight and firelight, while the lustrous scenes of the reindeer team, pulling its ornate sled, imbue the title with an Old World, fairy-tale richness. A final note addresses the recent controversy over Moore's authorship of the poem. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
From School Library Journal
PreS Up–Spirin's richly colored and ornate colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations opposite each page of text place this version of the classic poem in a nostalgic, 18th-century European town. Resembling medieval illuminated manuscripts, an embellished capital letter or a fanciful scene or figure in the first word of each verse sets the mood for each page. Readers are drawn into the magical wonder of the season through the artist's skilled use of color, detail, and shadow. The traditional portrayal of Santa as a jolly old elf is more apparent in this rendition than in other current editions. Special notes on the last page give a brief history of the poem and reveal a minor dispute over its true authorship. A warm, inviting, and beautifully illustrated book.–Maureen Wade, Los Angeles Public Library
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"Children will enjoy the humorous details. A popular choice."--Booklist.
The classic children's Christmas poem with illustrations:
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there...
A picture-book version of Clement C. Moore's celebrated Christmas poem, with illustrations by Anita Lobel.
The well-known poem about an important Christmas visitor.
Über den Autor
Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of ZACHARY'S BALL. While researching the elegantly detailed illustrations in ’TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, he studied the Gibson House, a brownstone in Boston’s historic Back Bay, and also spent time in the decorative arts wing of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. "As a child," he recalls, "I would lie quietly in bed on Christmas Eve, unable to sleep, listening carefully for any sign that Santa Claus and his reindeer might be on the roof. There were times when I was sure I heard sleigh bells. But I never experienced the thrill of actually seeing him come down the chimney. Maybe someday. . . ."