cover image The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

Clement Clarke Moore. HarperCollins, $17.99 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-06-026608-0

Firelight, moonglow and shadow flicker throughout Whatley's (Whatley's Quest) interpretation of this holiday chestnut. The protagonist here is adult, residing in a New England hamlet; his home is filled with details seemingly from earlier this century. The book exudes a gee-whiz excitement, but the manic expressions of Santa and his reindeer take the idea of wide-eyed wonder a tad too far, breaking an otherwise magical mood. And the significance of the gift Santa winkingly hands the narrator (a cowboy toy that apparently evokes his boyhood) may befuddle younger readers. All ages. (Oct.)