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'Twas the Night Before Christmas: Or Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas Hardcover – September 12, 2006

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Tavares is the author-illustrator of three baseball-inspired favorites: ZACHARY'S BALL, OLIVER'S GAME, and MUDBALL. He lives in Ogunquit, Maine.
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Product Details

  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press (September 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0763631183
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763631185
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 0.4 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #481,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

About me

I grew up in Winchester, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. I have always loved to draw. My parents say I've been drawing since I was two years old. During high school I took figure drawing classes at Boston University on weekends (a special class for high school students), and then in college I majored in Studio Art. For my senior thesis at Bates College, I wrote and illustrated my first picture book, Sebastian's Ball. Two years later, after much revision, Sebastian's Ball became ZACHARY'S BALL, my first published book. Now I live in Maine with my wife, Sarah, and our two daughters.


About my work

My first books were illustrated in pencil, partly because that was the medium I felt most comfortable with at the time and partly because monochromatic illustrations felt right for those stories. Since then, my style and process has changed considerably, mostly because I found myself illustrating stories that simply demanded some color. For example, the beanstalk in JACK AND THE BEANSTALK just needed to be green, and the golden eggs needed to have a bright, yellow glow. Now I mostly work in full color, with watercolor and gouache. I try to let each story guide me, and adapt my process accordingly.


Three things you didn't know about me

1. The best birthday gift I've ever gotten was the drafting table my parents got for me when I turned ten. I still use it today. There are other tables in my studio, but I do all my drawing and painting at the table I got for my 10th birthday.

2. I once played on a softball team that lost every single game. Zero wins and sixteen losses! We did much better the next season though- we even won a playoff game!

3. A poster of Boston Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe reading my book, ZACHARY'S BALL, was once given out to the first 10,000 fans at a Boston Red Sox game! This was wonderful, until Derek Lowe entered the game in the 9th inning and proceeded to blow the lead for the Red Sox. Hundreds of people threw their posters onto the field, and the game had to be stopped for several minutes while the ground crew gathered all the posters!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By C. Brooks on October 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
My mother used to read me this poem every christmas eve which became a magical tradition. The book was misplaced in a move and my mother and i have not read it since I was young. So I ordered this version for her christmas this year and when it arrived I was more than pleased. The book is stunning in more ways than one, and the artwork really shows how magical and heartwarming the story is. I shall give it to my mother on christmas eve and I know she will treasure it.. as will my kids and there kids after them. This book without a doubt will become an heirloom. Wether you are looking for a new copy or buying twas the night before christmas for the first time, I highly recommend this version. Enjoy.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dragonfly on December 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's so hard to explain just how beautiful the illustrations in this book are. My son learned the entire poem the first year we read it when he was 3 1/2 and it is a book he looks forward to getting out every year. There are other great illustrators who have done Twas the Night Before Christmas, but there is something so special about these dot illustrations that I'm so grateful we happened upon THIS book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robert A. Mcinnes on January 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic and true re-publication of a classic favorite. The illustrations are great (though I wish they were in color), and the type-font and whole format were designed to make this a timeless heirloom, to be passed down the generations. I also learned the correct names of two of the eight reindeer were "Dunder" (not "Donner") and "Blixem" (not "Blitzen"). It shows that Candlewick Press took pains to make sure that what they were republishing was true and accurate to Clement Clark Moore's original work. Note that the name of the illustrator (Matt Tavares) is prominently acknowledged on the cover, though Moore's name is only mentioned in "A Note from the Illustrator", probably owing to the fact that Moore first published his poem anonymously. Still, I'm surprised that "they" did not include Moore's name on the cover. If you are looking to acquire a good, faithful, accurate and wonderfully illustrated version of this classic for your shelves, to be pulled at Christmas-time for reading and re-reading, this would be as good a copy (or perhaps better) than any.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. I. on November 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book has nice black and white illustrations, and "old English" spellings. The cover is a subtle forest green, wine red binding and some gold.

What a contrast from the brightly-colored character-loaded images from other books and videos that fill our children's lives.

Children love colors, but wouldn't it be good to expose them to different things once in while?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nikki on October 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a beautifully illustated book of a favorite Christmas classic.
I love the simplicity~ a wonderful book for all ages!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Piper on March 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book for my family for Christmas. I found it absolutely beautiful! There is a short introduction in the beginning that tells the history of the poem. The drawings are exquisite and the binding is simply elegant. I love everything about this book! I intend to keep it in our family and pass it down for generations!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jill on August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not yet received my order, but just by the two illustrations that I have seen in this ad, I would like to say that - As an artist, I am VERY impressed by the pencil drawings in this book by Matt Tavares. I was looking for a SPECIAL 'Night Before Christmas' book to give to my sons so that they could continue the tradition that we had of reading the book every Christmas Eve to them. Now they will have their own book to read to their children, to continue our tradition. One that is unique and timeless.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joyce Martin on December 23, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are alot of Christmas books available illustrating Clement Clarke Moore's story but I found this one to be the best for my 3 grandchildren & our families....it will be a permanent Christmas item brought out every season for all to enjoy! Thanks...:)
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