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Literature & Fiction

Rating: 4.3 / 5.0 (1899 votes)

Released: 2006-09-01

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The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore


The poem “The Night Before Christmas” has become so much a part of Christmas that it’s hard to imagine the holiday without it. Originally published as an “Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas,” it appeared in 1823 in the newspaper, the Troy Sentinel. It has since been reprinted hundreds of times, acted out on stage, and read over the radio and on film and CD. The author, CLEMENT CLARKE MOORE, is said to have written the poem for his children on Christmas Eve, 1822. Our modern image of Santa Claus as a bearded, plump, jolly figure can be traced back to Moore’s famous description of St. Nick: “He had a broad face, and a little round belly, that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.”

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Editoral Review

Clement C. Moore's beloved poem about Santa's arrival on Christmas Eve has been illustrated by hundreds of artists since its first publication in 1823. Two collectors of antique children's books have selected a variety of these charming pictures from Arthur Rackham, Jessie Willcox Smith, Thomas Nast, and other renowned children's illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the images are from versions of the poem; a few are from antique postcards or magazines. Source notes for all the illustrations are included. Santa is dressed differently by each artist, but he is always “chubby and plump–a right jolly old elf” who brings joy to all good little girls and boys. This attractive edition of The Night Before Christmas will be enjoyed most by collectors of children's books or lovers of things Victorian. Youngsters who are already familiar with the poem will delight in comparing the different old-fashioned Santas and the children of long ago “nestled all snug in their beds.” A charming holiday gift to leave under the tree on Christmas Eve for anyone who believes in the magic of Santa Claus. (Ages 5 to adult) –Marcie Bovetz

Book Details

Author: Clement Clarke Moo.. Publisher: Two Lions Binding: Hardcover Language: English Pages: 32

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