From School Library Journal
PreS Up–Spirin's richly colored and ornate colored-pencil and watercolor illustrations opposite each page of text place this version of the classic poem in a nostalgic, 18th-century European town. Resembling medieval illuminated manuscripts, an embellished capital letter or a fanciful scene or figure in the first word of each verse sets the mood for each page. Readers are drawn into the magical wonder of the season through the artist's skilled use of color, detail, and shadow. The traditional portrayal of Santa as a jolly old elf is more apparent in this rendition than in other current editions. Special notes on the last page give a brief history of the poem and reveal a minor dispute over its true authorship. A warm, inviting, and beautifully illustrated book.–Maureen Wade, Los Angeles Public Library
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Spirin stays close to the conventional, nostalgic views, setting his scenes in a yesteryear European village visited by a Santa straight from central casting, all sparkling blue eyes and bushy white beard. Dabbed with gold and scrolled with fine brushwork, the paintings beautifully contrast the colors of moonlight and firelight, while the lustrous scenes of the reindeer team, pulling its ornate sled, imbue the title with an Old World, fairy-tale richness. A final note addresses the recent controversy over Moore's authorship of the poem. Gillian EngbergCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved