cover image The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas

Clement C. Moore, retold by Steve Richardson, illus. by Chris Dunn. Impossible Dreams, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-73645-650-7

A father rabbit awakens on the night before Christmas and meets towering polar bear St. Nick in this enthralling, animal-centered retelling of Clement C. Moore’s beloved Christmas poem. Richardson carefully swaps in details befitting the animal stand-ins, maintaining the original’s jaunty rhyme scheme and most of its original verse: “His eyes how they twinkled! his dimples, how merry!/ His nose was all wet and his cheeks were all hairy.” Dunn’s intricate spreads present fantastical, near-photorealistic characters against lush snowy landscapes, amplified with adroit employment of chiaroscuro. This adaptation will serve well as a cozy wintertime read for animal lovers, and as a lovely option for anyone seeking a slight revision of the traditional. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)