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.)
Moses (Silent Night) does his family legacy proud, putting his own cozy folk-style stamp on this much-loved holiday poem, a text that also inspired his great grandmother, Grandma Moses, whose picture-book edition has been a classic for several generations. A subtle aerial perspective allows readers to watch Santa's approach (over several breathtaking wordless spreads) to a small farming community in the glisten of moon-on-snow, a landscape dotted with snowmen, shocks of hay and wreath-adorned doors. Old-fashioned toys, wood-burning stoves and other details, often highlighted in spot illustrations, set this rendition in a bygone century. But the overall tone of this elegant volume, packaged with a bonus ornament, exudes a timeless Christmas magic perfect for family sharing. All ages. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Here is yet another way to illustrate this classic Christmas poem. Each page has a tab to pull. Pull the tabs to change the picture in the window in the center of the illustration from a monochromatic outline to full color. Children will be amazed and impressed with these "magic windows." Yet there are a number of design issues here. First, there is no flow from one page to the next. Each page is an individual illustration for several lines of the poem. There is no consideration for the continuity of the storyline. This contributes to a cluttered and disjointed look as one turns the page. In the page beginning, "His eyes how they twinkled!" there is a profile picture of Santa on the lower half of the page. The Magic Windows picture is also of Santa. This might be confusing for children to see two Santas on the same page. While the idea is clever, the execution lacks distinction. 2003, A Quarto Children's Book/Running Press Kids, Ages 4 to 8.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
The white end papers display antique toys, such as a top, a drum and a "jack o'box," and set the stage for the post-Victorian era snow-covered New England setting. It is night. In a cutaway view of the house we can see the children as well as the parents nestled in their beds. The house is decorated with three Christmas trees. Full-page spreads are interspersed with small close-ups that illustrate the words of this traditional Christmas poem. The illustrated two-page spreads have no text on them but allow the reader to peruse the details of the paintings such as the deer jumping through a field and the ice that has formed on the waterwheel. Santa, himself, seems fashioned on the late 19th and early 20th century drawings. On page 29 he can be seen relaxing in a wing back chair, coat open with a water glass in one hand and petting the dog with the other. Moses talks about his family's Christmas traditions in the introduction. He has created this book with the memories of his childhood Christmases in mind. This is a lovely option for those looking for a traditional rendering of Moore's poem.
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.
Christmas Eve in a snowy New England village of yesteryear is the setting for this version of the holiday poem, illustrated by Moses in a folk-art style similar to that of his great-grandmother, the beloved artist known as Grandma Moses. The cover of this volume shows Santa and his reindeer just about to land on the snowy roof of a large, traditional farmhouse, which is shown on a later page with an open front wall like an old-fashioned dollhouse. The format includes spot illustrations and vignettes next to the verses of the poem, alternating with full spreads of the farm or the surrounding village with Santa in his sleigh flying overhead. The paintings of indoor scenes are full of tiny, fascinating details of another era, while the outdoor scenes, lit by a full moon, show sweeping vistas of peaceful and prosperous farms. Though Moses has clearly been influenced by the artistic style of his great-grandmother, his illustrations are accomplished and charming on their own merits, combining a naive appeal with more sophisticated perspective and composition. An introduction by the illustrator offers some insights into his intriguing family history. (Picture book. 3-7)
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.