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The Night Before Christmas - Clement C. Moore

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Genre: Junior Books / Author: Clement C. Moore / Edition: New edition / Paperback / 56 Pages / Book is published 2004-11-01 by HarperCollins Children's Books

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      24.09.2012 15:55
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      The story of one Christmas Eve...could be every Christmas Eve

      I bought this for my niece about 16 years ago and I used to love reading it to her as much as she loved it being read to her each Christmas. I have just recently rediscovered the book, having got a child of my own who is at the age now where she is starting to understand who Santa is. I wasn't sure if the exact book would still be in print and I wasn't about to accept a cheap imitation of it...Yes this was the much sought after version!

      A timeless classic, The Night Before Christmas conjures up all those images we all loved as children, it beautifully captures the essence and the magic of Christmas. The surprise and delight on my daughters face, as I read the book for the first time, brought all those memories flooding back, wishing I was at the age of innocence and also wishing that I still believed!

      The book is beautifully illustrated and the illustrations could have been taken from a book from the 1950's. Had I not read the little mini biography of the illustrator at the back of the book, to find out that he graduated in 1991, I would have thought this book was an exact reproduction of a book from many decades gone by.

      I would recommend this book to anyone hoping to pass on that little bit of magic to a child or to revisit your youth once more, to an age where Father Christmas really did bring you gifts every year.

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        14.12.2011 23:22
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        Well known Christmas poem

        The Night Before Christmas

        With Christmas just around the corner we are re visiting a lot of the Christmas themed books we have collected over the years.

        This book is based on the poem penned in 1822 by Clement Clarke Moore when he wrote down Christmas memories for his children. It was originally called "A Visit from St Nicholas" but very quickly the fist line of the poem "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" replaced the original title.

        The book is quite large with a lovely old fashioned picture of Santa Claus on the front cover. This I think makes it instantly appealing to children because very few can resist a picture of Santa eating cookies!
        The first four lines of the poem are written on one page with a picture which looks like water colours on the adjoining page and a sleepy mouse under the words. The top and bottom of the page on which the writing is written have scrolling. This design sets the tone for the book- it alludes to a by gone age .

        The poem is kept true to the original with there being four lines to a page, which makes the poem flow and makes it easier for the reader to keep the rhyme going .

        There are double page spreads where the accompanying picture is underneath the writing and is in black and white, double page spreads featuring large reindeer flying over the rooftops, and lines of the poem with a full page picture at its side. Always the picture alludes to the words of the verse, and always they have an almost magical air.

        OTHER INFORMATION...

        ISBN: 0-00-716711-3
        RRP: £5.99
        Publisher: Harper Collins

        VERDICT...

        This is a lovely book, and because the poem is so evocative of Christmas, it is timeless. It appeals to children of all ages and because the pictures are so detailed there is plenty to look at and to talk about as we read the poem. I like the fact that none of the pictures are harsh looking and also that the pictures accompanying the lines of the poem are sometimes broken up with two pages of the poem, as this helps to maintain the flow and therefore the story line.

        The book is great to read aloud and I would thoroughly recommend it as both a Christmas book and an introduction to poems

        Thanks for reading

        Daniela xx

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          11.11.2010 17:08
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          A great Christmas read!

          Ooh!! Christmas is coming and I'm starting to get in the festive mood!! I think it is a wonderful time of year, and I especially love the whole 'countdown' part! Although I don't think Christmas is quite as exciting as when you were a child! Although, I am sure this book is sure to get you remembering Christmas as a child.

          Today, I was be reviewing a a book called 'The Night Before Christmas' which was written by Celment. C. Moore. The book is of a poem which was originally called 'A Visit From St Nicholas' although it was later known as 'Twas The Night Before Christmas'.
          I really love the poem and how it is told like a story! I love the descriptions as they really make you feel as you are there and are part of the 'story'. Some of my favourite lines include :
          "And laying his finger aside of his nose,
          And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!"
          and
          "His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

          Despite this book being aimed at children ; I have a guilty pleasure of reading Christmas books like these, as they make you feel like a child again! This book has such a 'magical' feel that it instantly get children excited about Christmas. This book would make a perfect read during the Christmas countdown - kids will love it! This book is only 'magical' if you read it at the correct time of year though ; it obviously doesn't quite work the same when it's Summer.

          What's great about this book is the beautiful illustrations ; they clearly represent what is going on in the poem, meaning that it is very easy for young children, who havn't started reading yet, understand what it going on in the book. Another great thing about this book is the fact that it is quite large, which means that a lot of children can read it at the same time. I love the illustrations as they create an image of a 'perfect image'.

          Kids will have lots of fun learning this poem; and what's great is the fact that there are hardly any 'difficult' words. The font is large which means it is ideal for 'new-readers'. Combining the 'reading' with the 'excitement and fun of Christmas', it was really help their reading and language skills! The book is thirty two pages which means that it's 'perfect' for children of around eight and under.

          I really can't believe that almost two hundred years after this poem was written ; it still has charm and is still entertaining children all over the World!

          I think at just over £6 from Amazon, it's excellent value for money! It is a great book to add to your 'Christmas Book Collection' (if you have one!)

          Thanks for reading!
          November 11th 2010
          xd-o-n-z-x (also posted on ciao under xdonzx)

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            30.09.2010 19:34
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            A very moving poem

            This for me is one of the best books I have bought for my daughter and contains the most beautiful words. I remember when I used to read this poem, sitting in the assembly hall at school reading the words from the projector. It used to get everybody feeling festive.


            Seeing this book in the book store over a decade later it brought back so many happy memories and got me feeling all festive again. I bought this book for my daughter immediately once I saw it. It cost £5.99 from waterstones which isn't a bad price for such a classic book.


            The book is called the night before Christmas and it is written by Clement C. Moore. The poem tells a magical story of Christmas Eve and is written in such a way where it leaves you feeling all warm inside. It contains breath taking descriptive words such as; "the moon on the breast of the new - fallen snow, gives a luster of midday to objects below." This being just a small example, the whole poem needs to be read to experience the joy and happiness the poem brings.


            This poem really takes you back and as you sink into the bliss of the poem and really engage in the magic, it leaves you thinking for a moment about the innocence of childhood and the time Santa, in your mind was a real thing, not just a tale. The powerful words fill you up inside like a glass of warm milk and freshly baked cookies.


            The illustrations in the book are done by Christian Birmingham and tell an interesting story of their own. The poem is very old and the illustrations are created to follow suit. Some illustrations are colour and others are in black and white to go with the whole old feel that runs throughout the poem. The people presented in the pictures are of your typical story book old fashioned people, with the men in night dresses wearing long head hats with bobbles on the end holding a lit candle on a little tray.


            Father Christmas in the poem is addressed as St. Nick, this adds to the old, warm Christmassy feel the book provides. The 8 reindeers also have a mention in the poem and contains all of their names; Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donder and Blitzen. I have to admit over the years I had forgotten these names but hearing them again takes me back and leave's me feeling like a little child again.


            After all that you may be thinking that secretly I bought this book for myself (not for my daughter!) the reason I bought it was that I want my daughter to experience every little drop of Christmas magic as she possibly can before someone eventually tells her that father Christmas isn't real. ( not that it will happen any time soon as she is only two) but still the longer she can hold onto that magic the better as once you experience the trauma of your older brother or sister telling you that Santa isn't actually real it sort of starts to disappear, and then you become an adult and your main job at Christmas is to spread the magic to your own children (as well as spending every penny you have on toys and getting absolutely no credit for it as it has all came from Santa!) But hey, that's what Christmas is all about!


            This book spreads magic and joy and can be enjoyed by adult and child. I put this book away and bring it out every Christmas so it has a more special effect when it is read. My daughter loves the soothing words and pretty pictures, and without fail every time I have previously read this to her she has fell to sleep within minutes.( let's hope it works the same this year!)


            I would highly recommend this book, it is suitable for all ages and will bring a little bit of joy and happiness to your stressful Christmas times.

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              29.07.2010 14:33
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              Children will love this poem

              "Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
              Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
              The stockings were hung by the chimney with care
              In the hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there...."

              For many children Christmas is the most magical time in their lives and well into adulthood the excitement and anticipation of the great day is remembered with intense pleasure and fond memories. Every family, of course, has its own festive traditions and this book was always part of the Christmas tradition observed by my family when I was a child and one that I continued when I had children of my own.

              The Night Before Christmas was written by Clement Clarke Moore, a wealthy American, and was originally entitled A Visit from St Nicholas. He supposedly composed the poem for his children and a family friend then had the poem published anonymously in a New York newspaper the following year and the rest, as they say, is history.

              Since its first publication in 1823, this poem has become beloved of children and their parents throughout the world. Moore's poetic description of Father Christmas as a round, jolly person in a sleigh pulled through the air by reindeer is claimed by many to be the inspiration for the original Coca Cola advert from which most modern ideas of Santa Claus were born. Amazingly, Clement Clarke Moore never copyrighted this poem and, in fact, didn't even claim it as his own work until several years after its publication.

              The tale, in rhyming couplets, is a simple one of a father witnessing Santa Claus's visit one Christmas Eve, all of which is enhanced by illustrations.

              A brief word here about the illustrations. There are many published versions of this poem and when buying this book for your children please take very careful note of the illustrations, especially those depicting Father Christmas because, as I'm sure you all realise, this is likely to be the image of him that your children will carry in their heads for the rest of their lives. Very little seems to be made of the power of book illustrations but they can have either a positive or a very negative effect on a child. Speaking from bitter experience, to this day I'm always nervous when walking in woodland because of pictures in a childhood storybook which showed the trees with evil looking faces in their trunks and their lower branches as long arms with grasping nobbly fingers!

              There must be literally hundreds of versions of this story on sale throughout the world, ranging from pop-up books to Disney but, for me, the more traditional versions are still the best. If you have young children, I guarantee they will love this poem and learn all the words in next to no time and it will become a tradition in your family too.

              Because this is such a universally loved book, practically every year sees a new edition which means second hand copies can be picked up for next to nothing. The book we own is a rather ancient and very dog-eared copy held together in places with Sellotape. It's a Little Golden Book publication with traditional illustrations created by Corinne Malvern very much in the Victorian style. It's tucked away in the loft now waiting for the day when it will be taken out again and read to the next generation.

              So, somewhat prematurely I know .....

              "Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!"

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