The Night Before Christmas, poem by Clement Clarke Moore, Illustrations by Jan Brett

I came across this version of the traditional poem by Clement Moore while browsing at our local big name booksellers. Of the 15 or so versions on display, it was by far the most appealling.

The text is traditional, no surprises there. The illustrations however, are a delight ... richly detailed, vibrantly colored, and humorous without being obvious. Brett has interwoven the main theme of the poem with a visual subplot of two young elves who stow away on Santa's sleigh and manage to work their own kind of magic on toys, reindeer and pets alike. Brett's illustrations capture many of the small details of Christmas that make it such a rich holiday for many of us.

This is an edition that both adult and child will enjoy reading again and again. My daughter continued to ask for it long after Christmas was over. I anticipate she will be just as enthralled this year, and so will Mom!

More books illustrated by Jan Brett:

Fritz and the Beautiful Horses
Berlioz the Bear
Beauty and the Beast