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

Sunday 5 December 2010

Review: The Night Before Christmas

Yes, it’s another version of Clement C Moore’s timeless poem, but honestly – who can ever get enough? With some many versions on the market, it’s a collector’s dream to find beautiful editions that recapture verse we all know and love so well.

Illustrator Isadora showcases a true love of Africa in this visually resplendent book – one of the many classic stories she has recreated with an African setting (such as Rapunzel, The Ugly Duckling and The Princess and the Pea).

Isadora’s style is modern, cool, funky and deliciously colourful, bringing a whole new tone to Moore’s classic rhyme. She layers her work with texture and cultural elements that are a joy to flick through… like when the dad wakes from his bed in an incandescent green caftan and traverses the African rug of his bedroom floor with a candle lantern in hand.

And Santa with an earring, dreadlocks and zebra pattern pants? Too too cool. Even the toys he leaves under the tree have an African flavour and I love the idea of exposing children to this totally untraditional take on a traditional favourite.

Title: The Night Before Christmas
Author: Clement C Moore
Illustrator: Rachel Isadora
Publisher: Putnam, A$24.95RRP
Publication Date: 20 November 2009
Format: Hardcover with dustjacket
ISBN: 9780399254086
For ages: 4+
Type: Picture Book