cover image The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore, illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo. Little Simon, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-0085-6

Caparo follows Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Rudolph Shines Again with a handsome interpretation of Moore’s classic holiday poem that brings it into the present day. In an urban neighborhood of townhouses, it’s a scruffy-haired young dad in a cardigan who leaps out of bed and, after putting on dark-framed eyeglasses, spots Santa soaring overhead. The text of the poem is unchanged, which means that Caparo supplies this Santa with a pipe to smoke (he also gives him a pair of red, Converse-style high tops in lieu of boots). Along with the contemporary details Caparo brings to this retelling, the antics of the family’s pets (and a pair of mice) add to the fun. The modern family that features in Caparo’s sumptuous, lifelike images may help some readers connect to the sometimes-remote language of the original—he successfully gives this poem a fresh and stylish spin while reaffirming its timelessness. Ages 4–7. (Sept.)