cover image ’Twas the Night Before Christmas

’Twas the Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore, illus. by Daniel Kirk. Abrams, $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4197-1233-3

Fans of Kirk’s Library Mouse series will welcome his fresh take on this poem, since it’s set—as readers will gradually notice—at a human house that’s also home to Sam the mouse and his family. Kirk gives Moore’s verse some tactical tweaks: “Not a creature was stirring, except for a mouse,” he writes as Sam’s father, perched atop a Christmas tree ornament, spies a lumberjack-like Santa filling stockings. Kirk’s author’s note explains that he made additional minor edits, including omitting Santa’s pipe smoking, to update the text and “make it more of a mouse’s tale.” Kids can spot clues to Sam’s identity, including his personalized stocking (stuffed with a diary) and a gift tag attached to his familiar acorn-top cap. Kirk’s digitally colored ink drawings are characteristically bold and charming in a lovely addition to the library of “Night Before” adaptations. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)