As St. Nick and eight tiny reindeer descend through a brilliant night sky, the famous Christmas poem begins. The father narrates the words just as Clement Moore wrote them, and artist Jan Brett captures the spirit of the story in glorious illustrations. Visually she extends it for children who will delight in watching two mischievous stowaways from the North Pole enthusiastically exploring the sacks of gifts on the roof. St. Nick, inside the house, is unaware, until the toys spill down onto the lawn -- then he turns with a jerk, and sees them. Antique toys and exquisite ornaments frame the borders, in which the father, St.Nick, or the family cat and dog can be found watching the action. A unique and beautiful edition, which all the family will cherish for years to come.
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