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

Sunday 15 December 2019

Review: The Night Before Christmas

This ageless poem by Clement Clarke Moore written in the early 1800s, is revisited and made new again by Helene Magisson’s exquisite artwork.

The stockings are hung. The children are sleeping. Snow continues to fall on a white-washed world. Sounds are coming from afar.  Santa is nearing his destination.

He calls his reindeer by name and urges them on. Even his descent into the sooty chimney with his equally sooty bag doesn’t hinder his ability to keep the toys clean and intact. 

Then away he goes into the cold but brilliant night that is lighted by a full moon and dancing stars.

Perfect rhythm and rhyme sets up and propels Santa’s journey.  Magisson’s incredible colour choice of burgundy shades and blue, create simultaneously, an atmosphere of seasonal cold and festive warmth.

The magical miniature images of toys and pets scattered on pages, add whimsy and a delicate touch.

It’s Santa that demands and gets the most attention. His impressive expressions, his high boots and pot belly are not to be ignored. He is full of cheer and magnificence.

Magisson’s images of leaves floating over the pages are aligned with the light-hearted festivities and freedom, the travel of the sleigh, and Santa’s carefree attitude.

This Christmas book is for sharing with children. Its poetic style delights the senses. The images are stunning; pleasing to the eye. The words are a whisper on the tongue and magic to the ears. You can almost smell the waft of festive preparations.

This is one not to be passed when perusing the plethora of Christmas books available.

Title: The Night Before Christmas
Author: Clement Clarke Moore
Illustrator: Helene Magisson
Publisher: New Frontier Publishing, $ 14.99
Publication Date: October 2019
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925059946
For ages: 3 - 10
Type: Christmas Picture Book