Reviews for Night Before Christmas

Booklist Reviews 2006 September #2
/*Starred Review*/ There's fanciful magic in Watson's version, which features almost photo-realistic paintings of Santa and his wild, mechanical sleigh: one of the most amusing spreads shows the sleigh's cockpit dashboard, complete with an "Elf Com" button and a hot-beverage dispenser. A team of diverse elves (or gnomes?) helps with the work, from dusting the chimney soot from Santa to overseeing present distribution with a tiny megaphone. Full of wonder, whimsy, and cheer, this easily earns a place on the crowded holiday shelves. ((Reviewed September 15, 2006)) Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2007 Spring
While Watson's precisely rendered, color-saturated paintings depict St. Nick as traditional in some ways (beard, belly) he zips in on a sleigh that's powered by reindeer but looks like a rocket ship/locomotive hybrid. A de-icer, a hot drink dispenser, and GPS help make his job easier. The multicultural cast of elves brim with personality, adding to the book's playful humor. Copyright 2007 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2006 November #1
A smiling Santa in goggles and aviator helmet speeds up the Christmas Eve delivery system with updated transportation from his "Far Northair" sleigh. This futuristic-looking vehicle still uses eight reindeer, but additional propulsion is controlled through sophisticated equipment in the covered cockpit (including a built-in beverage maker with choices from hot chocolate to borsht). This interpretation of Moore's classic poem finds Santa making a delivery to a household with three children in a traditional, suburban neighborhood. The father of the family springs out of bed in a panic in one dramatic spread, with his hand seeming to stretch right off the page toward the reader. A diverse crew of helpers joins Santa on his Christmas Eve flight, with costumed elves from many countries and ethnic groups helping to unload the toys and clean the soot off Santa's red cape, furry pants and pointed boots. Elves and toys decorate the endpapers and also appear as spot illustrations at the end of the poem's verses, which are attractively framed with bold, red borders on alternating spreads. An "interview" of St. Nick by illustrator Watson concludes the volume. (Picture book. 3-7) Copyright Kirkus 2006 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Reviews 2006 October

PreS Up Watson presents a modern, hip, and playful version of the classic poem with Santa cruising in a rocket-ship-style sleigh into an ordinary American '50s town, dressed like a biplane aviator. Multicultural elves, including one with dreadlocks and carrying a boom box and another in an Asian jacket carrying an origami paper crane, decorate the text side of each spread. Watson's imaginative style, dynamic composition, and use of perspective are stunning and exciting, and call to mind Chris Van Allsburg's work. His use of blue hues in the realistic tempera-and-watercolor paintings makes one feel the chill of the night, while bright, warm patterns convey the coziness of three children snuggled in bed under their traditional American quilt. An additional bonus is the appended tongue-in-cheek interview between St. Nick and Watson where readers learn about how Santa got his reindeer and his customized Polaris sleigh. This imaginative version will be great for booktalks, storytime, and bedtime.Maureen Wade, Los Angeles Public Library

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