The Night Before Christmas

illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo. 40p. Little Simon. Sept. 2017. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781534400856.
PreS-Gr 2—Moore's beloved Christmas poem "A Visit from St. Nicholas" receives new treatment from illustrator Caparo. The house is quiet and everyone sound asleep when the father of the family wakes to a commotion and runs to investigate. Lo and behold, St. Nick and his retinue of reindeer are on the roof. Santa pops down the chimney, stuffs stockings as he puffs on a pipe, and exits via chimney as quickly as he arrived, exclaiming, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!" Caparo's digital paintings capture the nighttime stillness of the house in plums and yellows; the winter landscape is rendered in icy blues and swirling snow. The action is driven by the father, agape with wonder, his bright-eyed Jack Russell terrier, and Santa, of course. St. Nick's arrival with Blitzen et al. is the dramatic highlight, and Santa's footwear gets an update with jaunty red high-tops. This is a solid, though not particularly inventive take, on a Christmas classic that has been reinterpreted ad infinitum. Young readers will appreciate the lush illustrations and Santa's cheeky jollity.
VERDICT An additional purchase for libraries in need of fresh holiday content.

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