’TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Anonymous

’TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS

Or, Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas
by , illustrated by
Age Range: 3 - 6

KIRKUS REVIEW

In a full-page introductory note, Tavares (Zachary’s Ball, 2000) details the origins of the famous poem (attributed to Clement C. Moore some years after its first publication in a NY newspaper in 1823), which spurred the tradition in the US of hanging up stockings to be filled by St. Nicholas. The text here uses the first known form of the poem, with original punctuation, spelling, grammar (“He sprung to his sleigh . . . ”), and reindeer names restored (Dunder and Blixem rather than Donder and Blitzen). Hence the designation of an anonymous author, as well. Tavares provides monochromatic pencil illustrations with old-fashioned details and a period setting complementary with the poem’s original period, but his sophisticated perspectives and cinematic lighting pull the whole into the modern era. Through varying viewpoints the reader looks up into the sky as the reindeer and sleigh soar over tall houses; in another illustration the reader looks down on the father as he throws his head back to look up at the noises on the roof; and in the following illustration, the reader looks down the stairs along with the father at Santa unloading his pack. A narrow ribbon of green borders the illustrations and the text pages, which have a subtle shading of green at the top to add some additional color. The moody illustrations suggest the drama and excitement of the magical night in an unusual way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2002
ISBN: 0-7636-1585-4
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Candlewick
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2002




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