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'Twas the Night Before Christmas Hardcover – September 26, 2005

4.3 out of 5 stars 2,489 customer reviews

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Hardcover, September 26, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Clement C. Moore's beloved poem about Santa's arrival on Christmas Eve has been illustrated by hundreds of artists since its first publication in 1823. Two collectors of antique children's books have selected a variety of these charming pictures from Arthur Rackham, Jessie Willcox Smith, Thomas Nast, and other renowned children's illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the images are from versions of the poem; a few are from antique postcards or magazines. Source notes for all the illustrations are included. Santa is dressed differently by each artist, but he is always "chubby and plump--a right jolly old elf" who brings joy to all good little girls and boys. This attractive edition of The Night Before Christmas will be enjoyed most by collectors of children's books or lovers of things Victorian. Youngsters who are already familiar with the poem will delight in comparing the different old-fashioned Santas and the children of long ago "nestled all snug in their beds." A charming holiday gift to leave under the tree on Christmas Eve for anyone who believes in the magic of Santa Claus. (Ages 5 to adult) --Marcie Bovetz --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

There are almost endless editions of Moore's poem, each as envisioned by a particular illustrator. The number and variety must make it difficult for people to choose the one just right to be part of their Chrismas celebrations. But Gustafson's full-color paintings, soaked in nostalgia, make his book a shoo-in favorite for lovers of tradition. In the best, old-fashioned mode, the narrator's house is garlanded with greenery and berries; the plump, tall tree glitters with candlelight; "Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap" evoke the last century and Santa Claus is fat, gorgeously dressed in scarlet velvet and ermine, "a right jolly old elf" with a delicious grin trained on the astonished observer.
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 4 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 3
  • Lexile Measure: 940 (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (September 26, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618616829
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618616824
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,489 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,072 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By H. Newman on December 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I purchased the hardcover edition for my 2 year old daughter. The Illustrations are absoulutely beautiful. The only problem I have with it is that it is not the original poem by Moore. It has been censored, yes, censored. The 2 lines "The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath." have been removed! I understand that smoking is no longer a "PC" thing in this day and age, but when you are purchasing a classic poem, one you remember from your childhood, you expect to get the actual poem. I was disappointed that this fact had not been noted in the product description. I guess it's a little 1984ish to me, to start censoring a book and not inform the consumer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an edited version of an old favorite and is illustrated, by Elena Almazova and Vitaly Shvarov. The subtitle, which is difficult to read in the picture provided, says "edited by Santa Claus for the benefit of children of the 21st century". The illustrators took the liberty to edit out the lines about Santa's pipe so they would not be promoting smoking. The ironic thing--there's tons of candy included--what about obesity? There is a roaring fire in the fireplace and all the candles in the house are still lit long after the family is in bed--what about fire hazards? There are wine glasses in a china cabinet--what about alcohol abuse? And on top of this, mom has cleavage.

I know these are picky points and the pictures are cute with a Disney-esque style, but there are hundreds of versions of this wonderful, classic poem. Don't waste your purchase on this one. Even if it is free.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is for the version illustrated by Elena Almazova and Vitaly Shvarov

When I saw this book for free today I was so excited. When I saw the quality of Illustrations I squealed. This is one of my favorite Christmas Stories, and my High School Choir would sing it. Then I realized that it had been cut.

Stabbed by the censorship police. I do not proscribe to the thought that ideas that are no longer acceptable or are becoming unacceptable should be ripped from the bookshelves. If I did, I wouldn't own any Mark Twain, or some Agatha Christie. The authors of their times wrote with the ethos of their time, whether it has changed or not does not matter. They took their inspiration and put it to pen. We should respect that and their talent. A Santa Claus with a pipe will not cause millions of children to run out and take up the bowl.

So while I praise the artistry which I found amazing. In fact a couple of the pictures I thought I could just walk into. I cannot approve of censorship in any form.
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Format: Hardcover
"The Night Before Christmas," is Mr. Sabuda's pop-up version of Clement Clarke Moore's classic tale of Santa's visit on Christmas Eve. The phrasing has been altered; still the story is the same, except mice play the human roles. It is a delightful rendition that will appeal to both the young and old alike.
Different from any other pop-up book I've seen, the backgrounds in Mr. Sabuda's books are generally solid in nature with white pop-up's that are often accented with color. This makes a wonderful contrast of positive and negative space that is unusual, and unexpected yet, striking. In this book, the artist has added more color to the pop-ups than in his earlier holiday works. Creatively conceived, the detailed execution of the pop-ups is what REALLY captures the viewer's attention, and carries this book. They are SO fantastic I have to continually remind myself it is only paper. For instance, when Santa calls out to the reindeer, "No, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! . . ." all eight reindeer literally fly off the page in sleigh formation with Santa trailing behind. It's brilliant! In addition, the finale is gorgeous! It is nearly an all-white scene with Santa in his sleigh, bidding adieu to a quaint little neighborhood down below. The backdrop displays a snow-capped mountain with a pull-tab that allows the viewer to draw Santa and his reindeer across the sky, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight."
"The Night Before Christmas," is a hardbound book that measures 8 ¼" x 8 ¼" x 1 ½". Highly imaginative, both conceptually and artistically this book will make a valued addition to any Christmas collection. CAREFUL, young one's will be mesmerized by the pop-up action, and will want to grab. Probably best for children four-years and up.
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By C. Miller on November 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I collect Night Before Christmas books. I found this one a few days ago at a children's store. It is so incredibly beautiful. It has silhouettes, cut-outs, and ends with an insanely beautiful pop-up. I love kids but this is not a book for children -- it is a masterpiece - a work of art -- read it to your kids but then save it for yourself!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son is five and already an authority on Santa. We looked inside many books on The Night Before Christmas and he simply did not get into the pictures. Then we found this version illustrated by an artist who must have Santa in his heart. My son loves the full-page images of Santa and all the smaller images he calls "picture windows". He enjoys telling the story in his own words as he looks at each picture. I love the way the illustrations focus on evoking key sensations that add to the heart of the story. Thank you Mr. Tom Browning. You have made this story a treasure far beyond the words!
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