The Soldiers' Night Before Christmas

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Overview

"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base
Only sentries were stirring--they guarded the place.
The soldiers were sleeping and snoring away
As they dreamed of 'back home' on good Christmas Day..."

One Christmas Eve at a military barracks in the Middle East, some homesick soldiers are paid a visit by Sergeant McClaus, the ...

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Overview

"'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the base
Only sentries were stirring--they guarded the place.
The soldiers were sleeping and snoring away
As they dreamed of 'back home' on good Christmas Day..."

One Christmas Eve at a military barracks in the Middle East, some homesick soldiers are paid a visit by Sergeant McClaus, the Santa of Soldiers. This lively and poignant tale is inspired by Clement C. Moore's classic yuletide poem.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-This version of the Clement Moore poem takes place on a U.S. Army base in the desert. The narrator wakes up when he hears a crash, and sees a Blackhawk helicopter giving the all clear to nine Humvees and a jeep, all loaded with gifts. Sergeant McClaus calls the drivers by name: "Now, Cohen! Mendoza! Woslowski! McCord! Now, Li! Watts! Donetti! And Specialist Ford!" When the caravan leaves, the sergeant calls out, "HAPPY CHRISTMAS, BRAVE SOLDIERS! MAY PEACE COME TO ALL!" Cartoon illustrations help to make this a lighthearted, even humorous, retelling that will probably be most appreciated by military families who already know the original version.-Virginia Walter, University of California, Los Angeles Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Using the familiar structure of the classic Christmas poem, Holland and Ford offer a witty parody that serves up a unique vision of a Santa who is very different from the traditional St. Nick. A young soldier serving as the narrator sees Sergeant McClaus arrive on base in a Blackhawk helicopter, followed by eight Christmas-green Humvees decked out in gold tinsel and twinkling lights. This commanding figure stands 6'6" in his camouflage uniform and red Santa hat, with a stub of cigar instead of a pipe. He and his drivers bring in sea bags filled with gifts for the soldiers: homemade goodies, phone cards, photos from home and artwork from children. The gifts are quickly deposited in helmets and boots, and then with a sharp salute and some hearty ho-ho-hos, Sergeant McClaus and his convoy take off for their next stop with a wish for peace for all. Jazzy illustrations in a cartoon style bring the military characters to life, especially the craggy-faced Sergeant McClaus. This will be popular with children who like brash superheroes, as well as with families and friends of those serving in the military. (Picture book. 5+)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375837951
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 9/12/2006
  • Series: Big Little Golden Book Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 2 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.28 (w) x 10.30 (h) x 0.31 (d)

Meet the Author

Trish Holland, originally from Jackson, MI, wrote LASSO THE MOON, a Little Golden Book that pubbed in May, 2005.

This is Christine Ford's third book. Her picture book, SNOW, was published in 1999 by HarperCollins. Her novel, SCOUT, will be published by Delacorte in Spring, 2006. Ms. Ford grew up in Pittsfield, MA. The author lives in Arlington, TX.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 10 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 25, 2011

    Must have/read for military families with children!

    Our three boys love reading this around Christmas... The fact that they (we!) can relate to the story make it even more enjoyable for them and the positive story line portrays a happy image of life as a soldier in the midst of a sometimes hard lifestyle.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

    A great story!

    I bought this book while my husband was deployed to Iraq over the holidays. I also was working in an elementary school on post where we had many Dad's deployed that year. The kids loved the book as much as I did. It is great for getting kids talking about a deployed parent too!

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Wonderfully appropriate for military families with young children

    I bought this classic story, set in an Army camp, for my grandson, whose daddy is in the Army. The whole family loved it. My grandson is only 3, so he enjoyed having this wonderful story read to him numerous times over the holidays. Now that his daddy has been deployed to Iraq, it is even more special because he understands that Santa doesn't forget those soldiers like his daddy.

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  • Posted December 29, 2008

    A lovely THANK YOU to OUR SOLDIERS!!

    When I first started reading, I thought this might not come off too well...but quickly I was proven wrong. This book is a great way for parents to talk with their children about the soldiers who are guarding our freedom! Frankly, as an American benefitting from our soldiers' guardianship--it was a great reminder to me!! This is book we can all take a critical message from--and it is done in a charming wonder-filled way. Thank you to the authors!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2007

    A reviewer

    This is a fun update on the Night Before Christmas with a military twist (Instead of Santa there's Sgt McClaus.) My husband and 3 of his best friends are in the military, and I've bought copies of this book for all 4 of them! Great for kids and adults alike.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2007

    A reviewer

    I loved this book it gave me chills... I just think of all the men and women so far from there families during this holiday year, it is a great gift to give to any military family or to send to you loved one who is deployed this holiday year. Bless our soldiers!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2007

    love this book

    as the wife of a soldier and a member of my husbands company FRG this book is great!!! its not the traditional sad christmas story you hear during deployment. in fact we read it to the kids at our company xmas party. they loved it even if 98% of their fathers are deployed for 15months in iraq, including my husband. i recommened this book!!! its great!!

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    Posted December 13, 2012

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    Posted December 17, 2008

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    Posted December 3, 2009

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