cover image The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

Clement Clarke Moore, , illus. by Rachel Isadora. . Putnam, $16.99 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-399-25408-6

Employing her trademark aesthetic, Isadora sets Moore's classic poem in Africa—her Santa Claus wears bright leopard-print pants and has gray dreadlocks. Mama's “kerchief” is a pink floral do-rag and the narrator is dressed in African attire, as he springs from bed to see the silhouette of Santa's sleigh (the reindeer are adorned with decorative beads) race across the sparse, snowy terrain. The gifts Santa pulls from his bag include a sock monkey, a zebra and three colorful dolls. The dynamic visuals offer a refreshing and original vision of this familiar verse. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)