In 1822 Clement Clarke Moore wrote The Night before Christmas for his own children. Now, of course, his poem is read aloud to children around the world who are anticipating Santa's arrival.
This Christmas Eve tradition calls for the treat of Julie Downing's wondrous visual rendition. Her jewel-toned watercolors, vibrant with rich Victorian detail, contain little surprises all along the way. Both children and grown-ups will respond to the luminous images -- the waiting tree, the astonished narrator, jolly Santa and his reindeer, and even the mouse -- as they discover the sparkling humor of a holiday favorite.
"'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there."
Generations of children have thrilled to these words as their favorite holiday grows near. Clement C. Moore wrote this account of a man's encounter with St. Nicholas in 1822 to entertain his children. Since then, his charming descriptions have become the definitive portrait of Santa Claus, from his twinkling eyes to his droll little mouth to the belly that shakes like a "bowlful of jelly." In this edition, award-winning illustrator Bruce Whatley brings Moore's well-loved Christmas classic to life with his vivid pictures and unusual perspectives. Readers can practically look up Dasher and Dancer's noses at one point, in a near-3-D close-up image of Santa's flock of reindeer.
Bright colors and clever details (one remaining leaf hangs from a tree outside the window, mice curl tightly together in a nest on a high shelf, reindeer peek mischievously over the rooftop at the unsuspecting narrator...) make this a holiday book the whole family will return to year after year. (Ages 3 to 10) --Emilie Coulter