Mary Engelbreit's The Night Before Christmas

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Overview

Readers young and old are invited into the enchanting world of Mary Engelbreit in this sparkling edition of Clement C. Moore's classic poem. It is the night before Christmas, in a house so cozy and colorful, so filled with expectation, so dusted with Christmas magic that only this beloved illustrator could have created it. Shhh. A mouse is asleep in its snug den and children are dreaming as sugarplum fairies flutter around their bed. Then there's the jingle of bells. . . .

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Overview

Readers young and old are invited into the enchanting world of Mary Engelbreit in this sparkling edition of Clement C. Moore's classic poem. It is the night before Christmas, in a house so cozy and colorful, so filled with expectation, so dusted with Christmas magic that only this beloved illustrator could have created it. Shhh. A mouse is asleep in its snug den and children are dreaming as sugarplum fairies flutter around their bed. Then there's the jingle of bells. . . .

For this merry celebration of Christmas, Mary Engelbreit has filled every page with bewitching details, rich color, and memorable characters. These include a bevy of mischievous elves, an adorable mouse, and a lovable, bespectacled Santa. The images in Mary's joyous vision will bring discovery and delight to generations of readers.

A newly illustrated version of the well-known poem about an important Christmas visitor.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Engelbreit's visions of sugarplums translate to a busy-bright patchwork of checks, plaids, paisleys and chintzes in this oversize (11" x 11") volume. Her interpretation of Moore's poem features a cast of rambunctious elves who accompany an exceptionally jolly St. Nick as he leaves assorted old-fashioned candies and toys inside a home decorated in a spectrum of Engelbreit's trademark patterns and prints. Kids-and adult fans of the artist-will enjoy poring over the copious details. All ages. (Oct.)
Children's Literature
The backgrounds and foregrounds of this prettily illustrated poem are full of elves, fairies, tiny mouse-sized things to look at, and bright red borders to contain the overflow. But the main action follows a human who hears the clatter on the roof, witnesses St. Nicholas come down the chimney, and greets the right jolly old elf, and the small mouse house does not appear again. Rather, readers can spot him in some of the pictures. Wavy edges of the text are blocked with initial capital letters made of candy canes lending a festive look. Fans of Engelbreit's cheery paintings on china, t-shirts, calendars, popular greeting cards, and the like, will enjoy yet another product from her workshop. There are even sheets of wrapping paper tucked under the back jacket flap. It is difficult to find a beautiful keepsake version of this well-loved traditional poem but in the meantime, this brightly decorated one will get the job done. 2004 (orig. 2002), HarperCollins, Ages 4 to 8.
—Susan Hepler, Ph.D.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 2-The full text of the familiar poem is illustrated in Engelbreit's crisply decorated style. A large trim size allows each highly embellished spread to hold a plethora of detail. From the opening stanza's view of the non-stirring mouse's hole (a cracked teacup is his bed, a potholder his doormat, and a paintbrush is his broom) and throughout the verses, the artist adds lots of elves and ornamentation. Santa is not pictured as "dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot"; he's wearing a checked coat with fur trim and what appear to be leather bowling shoes. He does twinkle a lot, though, and that may be enough for some readers.-S. P. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Engelbreit (Over the River and through the Woods,1994) has legions of devoted adult fans who will adore sharing this oversized, traditional treatment of the beloved Christmas poem. The illustrations incorporate the artist’s signature icons such as black-and-white checked borders, flowered armchairs, and cozy, snowbound cottages, along with Engelbreit’s favorite Scotty dog. Her charismatic Santa is chubby and cheerful in his red plaid suit and hiking boots; his cute, pointy-eared elves of varying sizes and costumes (though all unfortunately seem to be male) assist Santa at every step and are also shown marching toward the sleigh on the endpapers. The entire story is told in double-page spreads with the text blocks set off in ivory rectangles, and each spread is full of toys and treats and tiny details of the Christmas season in a busy household. The dramatic "Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!" finale shows the words in curly white writing flowing across a midnight blue sky, with Santa and the reindeer in mid-flight silhouetted against a full moon. Engelbreit fans will find this a delectable holiday treat. (Picture book. 3-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060081607
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/2002
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD940L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 11.25 (w) x 11.28 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Clement C. Moore (1779–1863), an American scholar and poet, first wrote The Night Before Christmas in 1822 to entertain his children. A friend submitted it to a local newspaper, The Troy Sentinel, where it was published on December 23, 1823. Moore's delightful description of St. Nicholas and his eight flying reindeer has since become the definitive portrait of Santa Claus.

Mary Engelbreit grew up studying the illustrations in the vintage storybooks of her mother's own childhood, and she developed a unique style that harkens back to those simpler times. She chose to illustrate Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas as her first book for children. It quickly hit the New York Times bestseller list and has become part of the holiday tradition for families across the country. Other treasured additions to a child's first bookshelf include Mary Engelbreit's Mother Goose, Mary Engelbreit's A Merry Little Christmas—both New York Times bestsellers—along with Mary Engelbreit's Nursery Tales and Mary Engelbreit's Fairy Tales.

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Read an Excerpt

'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung
by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas
soon would be there.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(7)

4 Star

(1)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 29, 2011

    Beautifully illustrated!

    A story we all know and love with beautiful illustrations!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2010

    Wonderful illustrations!

    The story is the one we know and love. The illustrations is what makes this book special. Very colorful and whimsical.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 23, 2010

    Classic!

    This book is a classic for children and adults alike with a beautiful Mary Engelbreit twist. I absolutely love the whimsical illustrations throughout the book.

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  • Posted January 17, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A classic

    The illustrations were beautiful. It's a classic. This book stayed at my home to read to my grandson.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Beautiful Edition

    My children really enjoyed the pictures of this version. It is fun and beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    A True Classic!

    Mary Engelbreit's The Night Before Christmas brings back childhood memories that makes this book a true classic! The lovely illustrations take you to a magical place with its bold pictures and vibrant colors! My 6 year old daughter enjoys reading this book over and over... not only on Christmas time! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2002

    Bright and Beautiful

    This book was illustrated by Mary Engelbreit. Her trademark use of patterns and colors makes this edition one that you will want to have, especially if you are a Mary Engelbreit fan. It is bright, bold, and beautiful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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