cover image ’Twas the Night Before Christmas

’Twas the Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore, illus. by P.J. Lynch. Candlewick, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2285-2

The poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” by Clement C. Moore gains a richly illustrated new edition by Lynch, featuring a slumbering white family in atmospheric, angle-varying spreads. Detail-rich classical art, rendered in watercolor and gouache, maintains muted tones; meanwhile, Lynch offers a gently entertaining seek-and-find element, including visuals such as a sleeping cat among the furniture, and several breathless spreads convey a sense of wonder ideal for the season. As Santa himself, portrayed with light skin, approaches, the intricately rendered sets brighten at his presence, highlighted by a buttery glow. Leaving Moore’s text untouched, the book doesn’t add anything novel to the poem’s shelf of picture book renderings, but for traditionalists seeking a timeless option—particularly to present to first-time readers—Lynch’s dreamy illustrations of the Christmas classic will surely gratify. Ages 3–7. (Sept.)