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'Twas the Evening of Christmas Hardcover – Picture Book, October 3, 2017
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From School Library Journal
In a skillfully composed text that mimics the phrasing and cadence of Clement C. Moore familiar holiday poem, Nellist presents a Nativity story that balances a lighthearted, anticipatory tone with an overarching reverence for the subject matter. Twas the evening of Christmas, when all through the town,/Every inn was so crowded, no room could be found, she begins, incorporating the animals of the stable, the nearby shepherds, and the visiting Magi into her retelling (The pigeons were nestled all snug in their beds,/ While visions of breadcrumbs danced and round in their headsand). Russian illustrator Selivanova evocative paintings feature soft lines and gentle shifts between sunlight, moonglow, starlight, and shadow--as well as light that seems to emanate from the newborn child. Her gauzy, muted palette and shifting perspectives (in one scene, the shepherds are seen from above, through clusters of angels and wings) fully immerse readers in the unfolding events. Ages 4 and 8. (Publishers Weekly)
- Item Weight : 15.3 ounces
- Grade level : Preschool - 1
- ISBN-10 : 0310745535
- Hardcover : 32 pages
- ISBN-13 : 978-0310745532
- Dimensions : 8.88 x 0.3 x 11.25 inches
- Publisher : Zonderkidz; Illustrated edition (October 3, 2017)
- Reading level : 4 - 8 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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A poem published anonymously in 1823 as A Visit From St. Nicholas, is affectionately known by it’s first line, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. In 1837, Clement Clarke Moore claimed ownership. Glenys wrote the birth story of Jesus with this cadence and rhythm. She has a true gift of poetry, especially using child-friendly phrases that children (and I) love.
I got my hands on this book in October, just as I was planning the Kids and Candles Christmas Eve service. The very next day I was joining a team of long-time children’s ministry folk and the book made its way around the table in no time. Since then, several of us have collaborated on the many ways we’ve incorporated it into our advent events and Christmas Eve.
Glenys shared 3 of her top ideas to use ‘Twas The Evening of Christmas in the classroom is 1) Students act out the story as a narrator reads, 2) Read aloud in a service with images shown on the big screen (permission can be obtained from Zonderkidz), and 3) Make it interactive by reading each stanza, but omit the last word and have kids fill in the missing rhyme. We are doing #2 with a spontaneous nativity as children come forward with various headpieces as shepherds, angels, stable animals on Christmas Eve. I shared the story at our Preschool last week as the Mystery Reader with idea #3. The children LOVED it!
Elena Selivanova has illustrated this book with great beauty and uncluttered images. The focus is on the baby and isn’t that the way it should be? I especially loved the way Elena depicts Mary always looking at Baby Jesus and the eyes of the shepherds as the angels come to bring the good news of His birth.
I’ve already ordered several copies TWICE, and am giving them as gifts this season. What’s next? Glenys will be adding to her Love Letter series with Easter Love Letters From God to be published January 30th. Just in time for Lent! This latest book in the Love Letter series has seven stories with seven lift-the-flap love letters from God, beginning with the ride into Jerusalem and ending with the resurrection.
I love this book and heartily recommend it for a read aloud book for children and adults around the Christmas Season.