An Artist’s Night Before Christmas

Joan C. Waites. Pelican, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4556-2205-4
Waites riffs on “The Night Before Christmas” in the story of a mouse artist, Henri DuPaul, who is struggling to finish a painting in time to give it as a Christmas gift. Henry spends most of the story fretting about the painting in progress, and he shares his anxieties with Santa himself after the man arrives to deliver gifts: “More texture? More contrast? My brushstroke too thick?/ I need some artistic direction, Saint Nick!” Along the way, readers will pick up a range of art-related terms (defined in a glossary), and mouse versions of eight famous artists (Cassatt, Degas, Kahlo, and others) appear in a row of portraits done in the painters’ respective styles. Swirls of ink, trailing lines of paint, and pencil sketches carry the art theme into the borders of each spread, and readers should enjoy the surprise of discovering the identity of the recipient of Henri’s finished painting. Ages 3–8. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 09/04/2017
Release date: 09/01/2017
Genre: Children's
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