The Night Before Christmas, Deep under the Sea

The Night Before Christmas, Deep under the Sea

by Kathie Kelleher, Dan Andreasen
     
 

A lobster is just about to doze off in his kelp bed when jolly old Santa Claus appears in a huge conch shell sleigh pulled by eight lively sea horses! With sparkling eyes, curled tusks, and a belly that bouces like a jiggling crown jelly, this reassuring walrus bestows his gifts and soars out of sight with a timeless Christmas message about happiness and love.

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Overview

A lobster is just about to doze off in his kelp bed when jolly old Santa Claus appears in a huge conch shell sleigh pulled by eight lively sea horses! With sparkling eyes, curled tusks, and a belly that bouces like a jiggling crown jelly, this reassuring walrus bestows his gifts and soars out of sight with a timeless Christmas message about happiness and love. Clement C. Moore's classic poem, reimagined in a cheerful underwater setting, is a rollicking way to welcome Christmas.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In this undersea interpretation of Clement Clarke Moore’s Christmas staple, a googly-eyed lobster narrates, as a pipe-smoking walrus Santa descends to deliver presents in a conch shell sleigh pulled by seahorses. Kelleher’s (illustrator of Stuck on the Presidents) narrative sometimes pushes the undersea theme a bit too far, as when the lobster awakens aboard a wrecked ship: “Up to the porthole I swam like a shark;/ I tore back the seaweed then peered through the dark./ The moon shells they glimmered like pearls from the glow/ Of luminescent jellyfish gliding below.” A mix of digital and oil painting, Andreasen’s (The Hand-Me-Down Doll) cartoons are unfailingly cheerful, creating a friendly underwater environment. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Elizabeth Fronk
Does Santa go beneath the ocean? In this retelling of the classic "Twas the Night Before Christmas," he does go beneath the sea, looking very much like a walrus. A lobster observes holiday preparations in a kelp bed: he sees a huge conch shell with eight sea horses (instead of reindeer). The story tries to remain faithful to Clements' poem with four line stanzas and rhymes. The description of the Santa walrus goes on a bit too long and takes away somewhat from the jubilant beginning. The lobster is rather winsome as he cautiously watches from his bed while Santa fills stockings and decorates a tree. The bright colors used in the book add to the telling and may appeal to fans of Sebastian from The Little Mermaid. For preschool or kindergarten readers wanting an aquatic-themed Christmas story, this might be amusing. A better choice of Clements' poem might be Tomie dePaola's version. Reviewer: Elizabeth Fronk
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—An underwater version of the Christmas poem with a tusked-walrus Santa and a lobster observer of the magical visitor "Decked out in red rubber from his toes to his collar." Santa's conch-shell sleigh is pulled by eight lively sea horses. The vibrant candy-colored illustrations, created using digital underpainting combined with traditional oil painting, have an antic cartoon charm that adds energy to the sometimes belabored adaptation. This one is only for those who cherish the sea; fans of Ariel and Sponge Bob may enjoy the gentle humor.—Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
An amusing parody of "The Night Before Christmas," set in an underwater world with marine life filling the familiar roles of family members and Santa. The story is narrated by a jolly lobster with expressively bulgy eyes, and instead of children "nestled all snug in their beds," readers meet mermaids with "visions of periwinkles" swimming though their heads. Rather than "the moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow," our lobster narrator proclaims, "The moon shells they glimmered like pearls from the glow / Of luminescent jellyfish gliding below." The perfectly rhymed text is full of rich vocabulary and closely follows the original text as Santa arrives at the lobster's underwater shipwreck home to deliver his Christmas gifts. This Santa Claus is a blue walrus in a red rubber suit commanding a conch-shell sleigh pulled by sea horses with names like Limpet and Quahog. Humorous, double-page–spread illustrations were created by combining oil paintings with digital enhancements to create the subtle layered look of the deep sea, and sparkly highlights provide an effervescent accent to underwater bubbles and the title words on the cover. A clever and creative parody of the old holiday chestnut. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780823423361
Publisher:
Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/2012
Pages:
32
Sales rank:
995,504
Product dimensions:
23.70(w) x 10.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 7 Years

Meet the Author


DAN ANDREASEN has illustrated many books, including Margaret Wise Brown's Sailor Boy Jig, William Anderson's Pioneer Girl: The Story of Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the American Girls series starring Felicity and Samantha. He lives in Orlando, Florida.

Kathie Kelleher has been writing and illustrating for more than thirty years. She was inspired to write The Night Before Christmas, Deep Under The Sea during a Mexican vacation with her family when, just a few weeks before Christmas, she was snorkeling and thinking about holiday preparations. Those two divergent worlds merged, and this tale was born! She lives in Massachusetts with her husband.

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