Title: ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas
Author: Clement C. Moore
Illustrator: P. J. Lynch
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Children’s picture book
Book format: Hardback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Description:  ‘Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse.
From the moonlit snow and sleepy little house to Santa’s rosy cheeks and reindeer prancing on rooftops, award-winning illustrator P. J . Lynch brings his chracteristically detailed, atmospheric illustrations to Clement C. Moore’s well-loved poem in an exquisite new edition of this Christmas classic.

*Free copy provided by publisher for review…

Review:  This is a lovely book featuring the classic poem.  ”Twas the Night Before Christmas’ is a just little larger than A4 in size and is filled with thick glossy pages of some beautiful illustrations and text.  On Christmas Eve, when the whole house is asleep, including the children and mice, a sudden noise wakes up a man who then goes on to find St. Nicholas in his house.

Twas the Night Before Christmas under the dust jacket
©The Strawberry Post – a look at the cute sleeping mouse under the dust jacket 🙂

Almost everyone has probably heard all or parts of the classic poem by Clement C. Moore.  The rhyming poem is so famous and parts of it, especially the beginning and bit about the order or reindeers gets mentioned again and again in various media.  I love the poem, the story of St. Nicholas visiting a house in the middle of the night, the man spotting him and then St Nick disappearing back up the chimney to continue his journey.  The poem is a classic and has a wonderful rhyming pattern to it, and I do love the magic of the story of being visited by santa.

Twas the Night Before Christmas book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

This book features some really lovely illustrations which are in-keeping with the old fashioned feel of this traditional tale.  I love Lynch’s illustrations, they really bring the magical story to life.  There’s something so appealing about the old-fashioned look to the images, their realism and the way they look just feels so appealing especially when coupled with this classic poem.  I love the way St Nicholas looks in the story and how vivid and bright all the colours appear when he’s pictured, in contrast to the duller colour palette in other parts of the story.  Although the pictures are lovely and I do enjoy the style, there is something about a few of them that feels almost too dark or not enough contrast in them to see properly.  I don’t mind darkened scenes, but a few of the earlier images require you to look a little closer to really take in all of the detail in them and it’s a shame as the detail in these illustrations is such that it would make me want to stare at them for ages (even as a child I’d do that).

Twas the Night Before Christmas book page image one close up of mice sleeping
©The Strawberry Post – close up of illustration of first page

Overall this is a lovely book with some beautiful and detailed illustrations accompanying the well-known and well-loved story.  The tale may seem old-fashioned for some reviewers, and it is a strange line for St. Nicholas to have a pipe in his mouth, considering our modern world’s push to get rid of smoking, but apart from that I don’t mind the old-fashioned story which has been repeated for years and generations and will be a classic that I’m sure will be loved for many years to come.  This book is a lovely one for children to look at especially if they’re not acquainted with the story.  I do think the old-fashioned look has an appeal and it’s like a book that can be looked at by all generations due to the style of illustration.  It’s definitely one I enjoyed looking at and would love to open again in the future.

Twas the Night Before Christmas book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

The front cover under the dust jacked includes a beautiful image of a sleeping mouse, one that’s not in the story, and I also love the last page of the book after the main story has finished, which also features a fun illustration of mice and cheese!  The dust jacket has some lovely silver shiny text.  I just really enjoyed looking at this book, especially at the animals, the mice and reindeer, and at the presents St Nicholas brings.  It’s one I’m sure will be loved by many, just a shame some of the earlier pictures have less contrast and seem a bit too dark compared to the rest.

What do you think of this book and the illustrations?  Have you read this classic story?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂