Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore, illustrated by Holly Hobbie

Rating: 5 stars

I love all the versions of The Night Before Christmas.  I keep an eye out for them this time of year; I think it's such a fun example of how you can take a classic text and spin it to make it your own.  (The Three Little Pigs story is another of my favorites to show my kids...) Literature is one big conversation between authors, right?

But first, you've got to have the original, the classic, the one and only poem by Clement C. Moore. The Night Before Christmas.  If your family celebrates Christmas, it's a book you've got to have in the house.

And if you're going to have it in your house, and read it over and over with your kids, year after year, spend the extra dollars to get a beautiful one.  The illustrations by Holly Hobbie are fantastic.  The time she takes to paint each illustration is evident on each page. If you've ever picked up a Toot and Puddle book you will have an idea of what I'm talking about.

There is no artist who can produce warmer illustrations than Holly Hobbie--looking at these pictures is like having a warm cup of tea, toes near a glowing fireplace, all my loved ones nearby.

In the Artist's Note in the back, Hobbie writes that she was at times intimidated by the idea of creating illustrations for such a masterpiece.  She had to "honor the timelessness of the piece while still making it [her] own." It is a slightly more modern version, and one seen through the eyes of an innocent, everything-is-amazing toddler.

I really, really love it.  This is a fantastic book to give--to expecting parents, to your children's grandparents, to your own toddler, to yourself.

P.S.  Here are the versions I've found.  Those with links are, obviously, ones I've reviewed

A Pirate's Night Before Christmas by Philip Yates
The Solider's Night Before Christmas by Trish Holland and Christine Ford
Dinosaurs Night Before Christmas by Anne Muecke
The Night Santa Got Lost: How NORAD Saved Christmas by Michael Keane
The Legend of Papa Noel: A Cajun Christmas Story by Terri Hoover Dunham

Please leave a comment if you know of any others!

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