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The Night Before Christmas Hardcover – October 22, 2013
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From School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3-An elegant, almost Art Deco sensibility and a multitude of viewpoints make this version of the holiday classic stand out. Hobbie uses transparent watercolor, pen and ink, and gouache on watercolor paper to good effect, with plenty of white space. Readers see the story from the perspective of a fox, Papa (sans nightcap), an enterprising toddler, and the pet cat, and a view from overhead. The illustrations will carry with a fairly large audience, but up-close inspection offers even more enjoyment, such as the matching astonishment on the faces of father and child, Santa's grandfatherly twinkle, even what looks like amusement on the faces of the reindeer. A brief biography of Moore and an artist's note are appended. A fine edition to freshen up holiday collections.-Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library α(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In bed with three older siblings, a toddler awakens, looks out the window, and sees a flying sleigh. He makes his way downstairs, where he peeks around a chair to watch St. Nicholas at work. The watercolor, gouache, and ink illustrations glow with warmth, wonder, and beauty in cozy domestic scenes and moonlit landscapes. From the fine quality of the paper to the lovely printed cover beneath the book’s jacket, this handsome picture book shows meticulous attention to detail. An appended section offers some historical background on Moore and the poem, first published in 1823, while an artist’s note comments on Hobbie’s technique and her approach to the work. Though most libraries are well supplied with picture books illustrating Moore’s classic, this fresh yet traditional interpretation is a rewarding choice to share with children. Preschool-Grade 2. --Carolyn Phelan
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