Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Folk artist and preacher Finster infuses his interpretation of the traditional holiday poem with his characteristic evangelical verve. Patterned with what look to be brush doodlings, his surreal compositions create a psychedelic party mood that contrasts sharply with the rather staid verse. Each spread is framed by a running word-border of such Finster preachings as "I am trying to get people back to God before the end of the earths [sic] planet." An eccentric dose of holiday cheer. All ages. (Oct.)
Anita Lobel's 1984 rendering of Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas is reissued in a small, hand-size hardcover edition. The New York City setting-inspired by Lobel's former home in Brooklyn-supplies a unique urban appeal. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal
K-Gr 5 No nostalgia here! Marshall's cartoon-like illustrations for Moore's well-known and much-loved poem are thoroughly modern, often very funny and typical of the artist. A cozy Cape Cod house sits in the snow with the unstirring mouse nestled in the bright green wreath on its door. Plump dogs, cats, a chicken (and even a mouse) abound in the comfortably cluttered house in which stockings are hung and people sleep. The animals join Papa as he watches the arrival of the plump old elf down the road and up to the roof. After his unceremonious entrance but before his gift distribution, St. Nick (in his cowboy boots with stars) poses for a photograph taken by the mouse and raids the refrigerator with his reindeer hungrily looking on. As St. Nick's final wish for a happy Christmas is exclaimed, the animals settle down again amid the bountiful and brightly decorated packages. Although the format is predictable (one page of text next to a one-page illustration), this is a fresh look at an old narrative. It may not appeal to everyone, but should cause all (except perhaps Scrooges) to chuckle. Maria B. Salvadore , District of Columbia Public Library
Rand illustrates Moore's famous poem in a large-format picture book that showcases his colorful paintings in a series of double-page spreads. Even children in the back row of a story-time group will get the full effect of the moonlit New England snowscapes and cozy, period interiors. Not a stretch for Rand, but he's comfortably in his stride here, and his fans will find plenty to like. In fact, almost anyone looking for a traditional, soft-focus interpretation of this Christmas favorite will find it an appealing picture book.
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)
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.