‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Candlewick. Sept. 2021. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781536222852.
PreS-Gr2–While every holiday season births myriad renditions of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, readers are in for a treat with Lynch’s contribution to Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas” canon. The text is faithful to the original poem, following the patriarch of a small family as he witnesses Santa delivering gifts in the wee hours of Christmas morning. Lynch’s supple watercolor and gouache illustrations are perfect for the tale’s snowy, northern setting. The illustrator plays extensively with color and perspective, creating dramatic and intriguing compositions. A light haze hangs over the pages, providing a visual chill, and small details invite readers in for a closer look. Each page is thoughtfully and artfully arranged. While there’s nothing particularly new in the content, the presentation is certainly fantastic. The humans (and humanoid toys) are depicted as white and rosy-pink with the cold.
VERDICT Perhaps not new, but certainly beautiful. A worthy addition to holiday shelves.

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