"'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house..."
When Clement Moore wrote a Christmas poem for his children about a magical visit from Saint Nicholas, he had no way of knowing that it would become the best-known and best-loved holiday poem of all time. The magic of his familiar verses is brought to life in this edition with the enchanting illustrations of award-winning artist, Tasha Tudor. Recreating her own Vermont farm home, her drawings enliven the poem with all the charm of an old-fashioned country Christmas: handmade gifts under a candlelit tree, stockings hung by an open fire, and her trademark pets, a corgi dog and cat, to welcome St. Nick.
With soft color, delicate detail, and nostalgic affection for times past, Tasha Tudor has created the perfect match for a classic poem that has delighted children and adults for generations.
Sabuda remains a master of the medium, constructing a series of varied and well-engineered scenes: Santa pops in and out of the chimney, beds fold out, a window shade rises and falls, and, in a clever nod to Moore's not-a-creature-was-stirring text, it's a family of mice who are receiving Santa's nighttime visit. A pull-out tab even lets readers interact, when Santa's sleigh glides out on the clouds and over an intricately realized village. It's hard to pick a favorite scene here, but you can bet that kids will love the book's pop de résistance, in which Santa's lead reindeer nearly fly right up your nose (if they don't knock you out of your chair first).
The book's first-rate production and lively pop-ups are enough to recommend it, but Sabuda goes one better by showing the thoughtful restraint to make most of the pop-ups almost entirely white. A few accents of color catch your eye (Santa's red suit and silver pipe), but--as befits such a dynamic book--the visual focus stays on the action. (All ages) --Paul Hughes