Cover image for The night before Christmas
The night before Christmas
Publication Information:
New York : Grosset & Dunlap, c1993.
Physical Description:
[30] p. : col. ill. ; 21 cm.
Grosset & Dunlap all aboard book
Clement C. Moore's classic poem describes a visit from St. Nicholas.
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St. Nick and eight tiny reindeer descend through a brilliant night sky, and so the famous Christmas poem begins. Jan Brett captures the spirit of Clement Moore's classic poem in glorious illustrations. As St. Nick goes to work, he doesn't realize there are two stowaways from the North Pole exploring the sacks of gifts on the roof! A unique and beautiful edition, which all the family will cherish for years to come.

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

PreS-Gr 2-Moore's beloved Christmas poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" receives new treatment from illustrator Caparo. The house is quiet and everyone sound asleep when the father of the family wakes to a commotion and runs to investigate. Lo and behold, St. Nick and his retinue of reindeer are on the roof. Santa pops down the chimney, stuffs stockings as he puffs on a pipe, and exits via chimney as quickly as he arrived, exclaiming, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" Caparo's digital paintings capture the nighttime stillness of the house in plums and yellows; the winter landscape is rendered in icy blues and swirling snow. The action is driven by the father, agape with wonder, his bright-eyed Jack Russell terrier, and Santa, of course. St. Nick's arrival with Blitzen et al. is the dramatic highlight, and Santa's footwear gets an update with jaunty red high-tops. This is a solid, though not particularly inventive take, on a Christmas classic that has been reinterpreted ad infinitum. Young readers will appreciate the lush illustrations and Santa's cheeky jollity. VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries in need of fresh holiday content.-Shanna Kim, Los Angeles Public Library © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

Caparo follows Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Rudolph Shines Again with a handsome interpretation of Moore's classic holiday poem that brings it into the present day. In an urban neighborhood of townhouses, it's a scruffy-haired young dad in a cardigan who leaps out of bed and, after putting on dark-framed eyeglasses, spots Santa soaring overhead. The text of the poem is unchanged, which means that Caparo supplies this Santa with a pipe to smoke (he also gives him a pair of red, Converse-style high tops in lieu of boots). Along with the contemporary details Caparo brings to this retelling, the antics of the family's pets (and a pair of mice) add to the fun. The modern family that features in Caparo's sumptuous, lifelike images may help some readers connect to the sometimes-remote language of the original-he successfully gives this poem a fresh and stylish spin while reaffirming its timelessness. Ages 4-7. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

In this laugh-out-loud version of Moores famous poem, the 1823 text is unchanged, but Ercolinis deadpan acrylic illustrations scream modern-day America. Here, the house in which not a creature was stirring is the most over-decorated one in the neighborhoodor possibly the world. A huge neon WELCOME SANTA sign points to the blazing-with-lights house; an enormous inflatable Santa adorns the roof. Inside, every possible inch of space is devoted to Christmas (while Dad peruses Home Decor magazine for yet more ideas). Santa himself is jolly, gluttonous, and fond of playing with remote-control toys. Myriad details invite repeated readings, and the subplot involving the resident dog, cat, and (yes) mouse adds even more humor and goofy charm. martha v. parravano (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

The classic poem about Santa's appearance on Christmas Eve is presented in a large format with a contemporary setting and a jolly Santa sporting red, high-top sneakers. The title of this attractive interpretation is spelled out in raised silver letters on the cover; beneath it, Santa is poised to swoop down the chimney of a comfortably middle-class white family. He is gazing out directly at readers with a wave and a grin, seeming to invite them to follow him down the chimney and into the story. He is white and wearing the familiar red, fur-trimmed suit, but this Santa has jazzy, striped gloves, those stylish, red high-tops, and an unusual patchwork sack for the toys. The atmosphere of the illustrations is dark and a little spooky, with muted lighting and mysterious, curling wisps of mist that indicate the magical nature of Santa's journey. In the outdoor scenes, the text is set in white type, standing out against the midnight-blue evening sky. Several double-page spreads of the reindeer and sleigh in action use unusual perspectives to heighten the dramatic effect, creating a sense of speed and motion. The large trim size and dramatic pacing make this a fine choice for reading aloud to a group. Illustrated versions of the famous poem abound, but this rendition stands out for its large size, thoughtful design, and dramatic, atmospheric illustrations. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Ages 3-6. The classic Christmas poem about that jolly old St. Nicholas has been illustrated countless times. There is no "real" edition, with most adults accepting the version they read in childhood as the proper one. This new edition combines the original poem with illustrations from a number of different books, which range in date from 1890 to 1928. The quality of the reproductions is generally very good, and the illustrators include the famous--Arthur Rackham, Jessie Willcox Smith, and Thomas Nast--as well as the venerable Unknown. A list at the back of the book provides names and dates for each picture. Young children may find it baffling or even disturbing to see Santa's image change from page to page, but slightly older ones as well as adults will delight in the varying depictions of the events of Christmas Eve. (Reviewed October 1, 1998)0811817121Susan Dove Lempke