Robert Sabuda's The Night Before Christmas

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Overview

Award winner Robert Sabuda brings Clement Clarke Moore's classic tale of The Night Before Christmas to life in this festive pop-up edition, sure to become a perennial family favorite.
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Overview

Award winner Robert Sabuda brings Clement Clarke Moore's classic tale of The Night Before Christmas to life in this festive pop-up edition, sure to become a perennial family favorite.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Robert Sabuda, the master of pop-ups, has again returned with a Christmas book that's simply breathtaking. This time, he's engineered Clement Clarke Moore's beloved classic holiday poem, The Night Before Christmas.

In six luxurious spreads, with flaps that hide even more pop-ups, Sabuda has brought St. Nick's Christmas Eve visit to life. Each of the spreads has a strong matte-colored background, with pop-ups that effectively use stark white in combination with primary colors, reminiscent of his popular The Christmas Alphabet. With the opening line, " 'Twas the night before Christmas...," a clock unfolds, revealing a mouse springing to life and the clock's hands moving to midnight. Open the flap, and three little mice sleeping in bed have wheels turning behind their heads, showing "visions of sugarplums" dancing in their heads. Other impressive pop-ups include a team of eight reindeer jumping out of the page toward the reader with Santa in tow, a flap that shows St. Nick coming down the chimney with a bound, and the finale: A little white and powder-blue town unfolds, with a pull-tab that lets Kris Kringle sail merrily through the clouds overhead.

If you loved Sabuda's previous work, including The Wizard of Oz, you'll adore this new Christmas treasure. The pop-ups themselves are bold and amazing, using movements that impress with each turn of the page. Ideal for gift giving to anyone who appreciates paper engineering and stunning artwork, The Night Before Christmas will knock your stockings off just in time to hang them on the mantel. One not to miss. Matt Warner

Publishers Weekly
Those wishing to give the holiday some gleeful pop need look no further than Sabuda's (The 12 Days of Christmas; The Christmas Alphabet) latest marvel of intricate paper engineering. In a slight twist, a tiny mouse family, tucked in and dreaming of shimmering sweets, wakens to sleigh-and-reindeer clatter. In Sabuda's signature style, a rainbow of solid-colored panels comprises the backgrounds, giving contrast to the white (save for St. Nick's suit) three-dimensional constructions. The pop-up of Santa's reindeer dramatically leaping toward readers is a stunner. All ages. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
K Up-Ingenious paper engineering sets off the well-known poem to fresh advantage in this arresting presentation. With his signature use of white paper and flaps revealing movable parts and pop-ups, Sabuda offers surprises on every page. A mouse watches the big hand of a clock strike midnight, the team of reindeer plunges dramatically toward readers, Santa's feet are seen springing up from the fireplace an instant before his head emerges from the chimney. In the final scene, an entire village, all in white, stands up on the page and, with the pull of a tab, Santa's sleigh streaks across a starlit sky. As with The Christmas Alphabet (Orchard, 1994), clever techniques, original design, and a unique graphic style set this work apart from most movable books. Due to its fragile nature, libraries may wish to keep it for displays, storytimes, and as an example of the pop-up at its most striking, rather than for circulation.-S. P. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781616876104
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
  • Publication date: 4/15/2010
  • Pages: 12
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Sabuda

Robert Sabuda is one of the most innovative and inventive children's book creators and is known worldwide for his amazing pop-up paper engineering. His books include Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Twelve Days of Christmas, The Night Before Christmas, The Winter's Tale, Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, to name but afew, have garnered numerous awards and have made the New York Times bestseller lists on many occasions. He lives in New York City.

Biography

Pop-up books are true oddities of children's publishing. They are charmingly quaint and old-fashioned, yet eternally popular. They've been around for ages, but precious few creative souls set out to become pop-up artists. This, however, is not the case with Robert Sabuda, who seems to have been born to make pop-up books.

Sabuda made his first step toward becoming one of the most ingenious pop-up artists in contemporary publishing as a very young child. He grew up in a household where books were held in the highest regard and reading was always encouraged. He has fond memories of being read to by his mother when he was a little boy. Sabuda's first encounter with a pop-up book occurred in a dentist office. Anxious about his appointment, young Robert's mother read a pop-up book with him to take his mind off the dentist's chair. He was instantly hooked.

Sabuda's background as a gifted artist also played a key role in his future career. As a kid, he was fortunate enough to be encouraged in his artistic pursuits by his teachers and his parents, his father being a mason and carpenter. He inherited from his dad a lifelong fascination with construction and avidly studied the pop-up books he received as gifts to find out what made them work. Imaginative and curious, he even made his own pop-ups out of discarded manila envelopes his mom brought home from her office.

This childhood hobby would prove invaluable, as an older Sabuda set out on a career in children's books. He got his start as a journeyman illustrator working with such writers as Eugene Bradley Coco (The Fiddler's Son; Wishing Well) and Jay Patrick Lewis (Earth Verses and Water Rhymes). He even worked on adaptations of Walt Whitman classics geared toward young readers.

Sabuda's first solo effort was Saint Valentine (1992), a retelling of the ancient tale of a humble Roman physician who brings about a miracle. The focal point of this charmingly simple story is Sabuda's illustrations, a series of intricate, exquisite mosaics made of marbleized and hand-painted paper that simulate the look of early Christian art. Proof of a craftsmanship rarely seen in children's books, Saint Valentine and its sequel, Tutankhamen's Gift, revealed the illustrator's uncanny talent for creating unconventional art.

In 1994, Sabuda discovered his niche with The Christmas Alphabet, a seasonal delight filled with eye-catching pop-ups and crafted with an elegance as appealing to adults as to children. The Christmas Alphabet was the first in a long line of remarkable paper-engineered wonders covering a wide range of subject matter. He would adapt famous tales (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Alice's Adventures in Wonderland), tackle contemporary issues (the Help the Animals series), and tell completely original stories (Winter's Tale).

Some of Sabuda's finest work has been done in collaboration with his partner and good friend Matthew Reinhart. Between them, these two pop-up geniuses have produced stunning work, including two wonderful science-oriented series, the Young Naturalist's Pop-up Handbook and the Encyclopedia Prehistorica. And although each has become increasingly involved in independent projects, they continue to influence each other in subtle and dramatic ways.

In explaining the attraction of the pop-up genre to today's technologically savvy kids, Sabuda says,. "I think [kids] are drawn to pop-up books because so much in their world today to them seems like magic, electronically," Sabuda told Barnes & Noble.com. "So, when they see one of my pop-ups books and they open it, they're amazed that it's occurring just by turning the page... that there's no electronics or bells or whistles to make that happen. I know that just from a creative part, they love seeing that magic occur."

Good To Know

As a boy, Sabuda took tap lessons at a local dance school, where he also furthered his artistic abilities by designing backdrops.

Shortly after graduating from Pratt Institute in New York City, Sabuda made ends meet by designing boxes for women's underwear.

Sabuda's first work in children's publishing was as an illustrator of coloring books, which books based on such popular movie characters as the very non-kid-friendly Rambo.

Sabuda shared some fun facts about himself in our interview:

"My first job was as a hardware stock boy and I LOVED it. To this day, when someone says 'Home Depot,' I start salivating like Pavlov's dog."

"I'm inspired to create the work that I do because I really don't know how to do anything else. Besides it's a bit of a curse, too. I always have so many ideas that I feel like I'll never get to them all."

"I don't know how to drive a car and have no desire to learn."

"My partner (author/illustrator) Matthew Reinhart and I just got an 1830's farmhouse in up state New York. Having it renovated has been a great project. It's like working on a huge pop-up that you can live in."

"To unwind, I do yoga, but my practice is pretty average. But I can do a headstand, away from the wall, which for me is a really big deal!"

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 8, 1965
    2. Place of Birth:
      Pinckney, Michigan
    1. Education:
      B.F.A., Pratt Institute, 1987
    2. Website:

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