Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas by Chet Williamson, James Rice |, Audiobook (Cassette) | Barnes & Noble
Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas

Pennsylvania Dutch Night Before Christmas

by Chet Williamson, James Rice
     
 

The Pennsylvania Dutch dialect and the antics of the crotchety Belsnickel will make this a Christmas tale to enjoy. Boxed Running time: 24 min.

Overview

The Pennsylvania Dutch dialect and the antics of the crotchety Belsnickel will make this a Christmas tale to enjoy. Boxed Running time: 24 min.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Yet another version of the Clement Moore poem recast in dialect. Santa is replaced by the "Belsnickel," and reindeer become cattle. The Belsnickel is dressed in a long black coat with the familiar white beard and flat black hat of the Pennsylvania Dutch. A guide to pronunciation and a recipe for shoofly pie are provided at the end. 2000, Pelican Publishing Company, Ages 6 up, $14.95. Reviewer: Dr. Judy Rowen
As explained in the author's note, in Pennsylvania Dutch country, a crotchety old gentleman known as the Belsnickel plays the role of Santa Claus. Although the Belsnickel is skinny and dressed in black, he still sits in judgment over children's behavior giving them treats if they're good and threatening to spank them with his switches if not, "( though there is no recorded occurrence of this ever happening)." Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas is used as the basis for this tale and comparisons are many. The Belsnickel arrives in a plow pulled by cows. Although readers are told the Belsnickel usually enters a home through the front door, in this parody the cows are made to climb up on the farmhouse roof. Once up high, the roof collapses and the Belsnickel falls to the bed below. Of course everyone is now awake to greet him and after a show of grumpiness he hands out gifts to the three waiting children. What makes this story fun is the German accent (Pennsylvania Dutch dialect) that's built into the text. For instance, instead of was, it says, "vas" and instead of just, "chust." The story's humor is largely due to being thus forced to speak and listen differently. As in the original poem the verse here is rhyming. Rather than striving for grace and flow this poem has a clunky, irreverent, old world style. "And vhen ve looked up through the hole in the ceiling, It vas chust a little bit vorried ve're feeling." The illustrations are created with a scratchy pen and ink line with drab watercolor backgrounds. The Belsnickel comes across as a friendly guy, despite his reputation, while the droopy-eyed cows are sure to produce some giggles. Unfortunately, the monochromatic pajama cladfamily, with their frozen poses and mouths agape, are less animated than the cows while the cat is chust unnaturally large. This book would best be appreciated as a supplement to Moore's original poem or alongside one of Jim Rice's many other take-offs of The Night Before Christmas.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781565548398
Publisher:
Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date:
08/28/2000
Series:
Night Before Christmas Series
Product dimensions:
4.39(w) x 7.08(h) x 0.76(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

Read an Excerpt

As explained in the author's note, in Pennsylvania Dutch country, a crotchety old gentleman known as the Belsnickel plays the role of Santa Claus. Although the Belsnickel is skinny and dressed in black, he still sits in judgment over children's behavior giving them treats if they're good and threatening to spank them with his switches if not, "( though there is no recorded occurrence of this ever happening)."

Clement C. Moore's The Night Before Christmas is used as the basis for this tale and comparisons are many. The Belsnickel arrives in a plow pulled by cows. Although readers are told the Belsnickel usually enters a home through the front door, in this parody the cows are made to climb up on the farmhouse roof. Once up high, the roof collapses and the Belsnickel falls to the bed below. Of course everyone is now awake to greet him and after a show of grumpiness he hands out gifts to the three waiting children.

What makes this story fun is the German accent (Pennsylvania Dutch dialect) that's built into the text. For instance, instead of was, it says, "vas" and instead of just, "chust." The story's humor is largely due to being thus forced to speak and listen differently. As in the original poem the verse here is rhyming. Rather than striving for grace and flow this poem has a clunky, irreverent, old world style. "And vhen ve looked up through the hole in the ceiling, It vas chust a little bit vorried ve're feeling."

The illustrations are created with a scratchy pen and ink line with drab watercolor backgrounds. The Belsnickel comes across as a friendly guy, despite his reputation, while the droopy-eyed cows are sure to produce some giggles. Unfortunately, the monochromatic pajama clad family, with their frozen poses and mouths agape, are less animated than the cows while the cat is chust unnaturally large. This book would best be appreciated as a supplement to Moore's original poem or alongside one of Jim Rice's many other take-offs of The Night Before Christmas.

Meet the Author

Chet Williamson is an award-winning writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Over eighty of his short stories have appeared in such publications as The New Yorker , Esquire , Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction , and many other magazines and anthologies. He has been a final nominee for the World Fantasy Award, the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award, and the Horror Writers Stoker Award. Williamson, who is also a trained actor, lives in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. This is his first children's book.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >