'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 5 December 2010

Review: The Night Before Christmas

Clement C Moore’s timeless Christmas rhyme has been brought to life many times over the years – in a multitude of forms… and it’s testament to the beauty and desirability of his prose that these books continue to sell and enchant children (and adults!) all over the world.

In this new edition, published by Walker Books, we are treated to a stunning, collectable tome that would be make the perfect ‘special present’ for anyone, let alone children.

Opening with a short biography on the author, it’s fascinating to learn this poem was first read to Moore’s nine children on Christmas Eve 1822, when the children had hung their stockings for Santa. Moore’s immortal words – ‘Twas the night before Christmas’ was eventually memorized by his children and repeated to family and friends.

A family friend sent the poem to the Troy Sentinel, a New York newspaper, where it was publishing anonymously the following Christmas under the title A Visit from St Nicholas. Shortly thereafter, the poem was published in a magazine and… the rest is festive history.

This version has been mesmerisingly illustrated by prolific and talented Australian artist Robert Ingpen – who has worked on over 100 books. And the pictures are just breathtaking. As though they have been overlaid with a scattering of snow, the illustrations are soft, classic, timeless and full of muted colour and character.

The movement and style of Ingpen’s work – his warm, glowing rendition of a Santa that will make you grin from ear to ear – just makes this book priceless. Large, classically typeset text and truly gorgeous layout and design make this book a collectible that will enchant the family for many years to come.

Title: The Night Before Christmas
Author: Clement C Moore
Illustrator: Robert Ingpen
Publisher: Walker Books, A$29.95RRP
Publication Date: 1 October 2010
Format: Hardcover with dustjacket
ISBN: 9781921720215
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book