In a work subtitled ""Around the World on the Night Before Christmas,"" Harness (The Amazing Impossible Erie Canal, p. 469, etc.) chooses a moment in history from which to launch a provocative journey. It's Christmas Eve, 1822, and Clement C. Moore has just gathered his family to hear his new poem, ""A Visit from Saint Nicholas."" But what was happening in other parts of the globe that night? Beethoven is out for a ramble, the Grimm brothers regale each other with stories, France's new king sits down for dinner ""with the noble and the knighted. Napolâ€šon's dead. He's not invited."" The rhyming text is lively and humorous, but the notion of simultaneity comes to life in pen-and-ink illustrations in which events swarm over pages; each spread of a new location explodes with incidentals that refer back to the main drawing.