The Night Before Christmas

What It Is

This is the quintessential Christmas poem by Clement Moore, illustrated by Jan Brett. First released in 1998, this edition remains available in a variety of formats. Scholastic publishes the paperback version and a 10th anniversary hardcover edition was published in 2008 and is still available.

Why It’s Fun

Reading this poem evokes memories of the can’t-contain-yourself excitement of a child awaiting Santa’s arrival on Christmas Eve. Jan Brett’s illustrations transport you back to the early 19th Century era in which Moore wrote, giving the book an antique feel. Each two-page spread is framed with a border that features vignettes to show what is happening outside the page’s main illustration. For example, the feature of the children all snug in their beds dreaming of sugar plums and other confections is supported by small vignettes of mom and pop in their kerchief and cap, and the stockings carefully hung on the chimney. The detail on each page is stunning, right down to the tongue-wagging reindeer.

Who’s Going To Love It

Though the true authorship of the poem still sparks a lively debate among literary experts, it is a holiday tradition for millions of all ages. Ms. Brett’s version is truly special and makes a wonderful gift and pass-down book. Though the publisher’s recommended age starts at four, the book is right for those young enough to sit still for it. We love the book so much it’s read even before the Christmas tree is up!

Reading Time

About three minutes

Read-It-Again Points

10 out of 10

Book Information

The Night Before Christmas
By: Clement Moore, Illustrated by Jan Brett
Published by: Penguin Putnam
Approximate retail price: $4.95 (paperback), $17.99 (hardcover)
Publisher’s recommended ages: 4 - 8

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