Reviews for Night Before Christmas, Deep Under the Sea

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2013 Spring
Told by a jovial red lobster, this retelling takes place in the deep ocean where Santa is a walrus in a conch shell sleigh pulled by eight tiny seahorses. Andreasen's oil-paint and digital art is cheery but cutesy. The undersea setting is a tad gratuitous, though some children may find the aquatic re-imagining entertaining.

Kirkus Reviews 2012 September #1
An amusing parody of "The Night Before Christmas," set in an underwater world with marine life filling the familiar roles of family members and Santa. The story is narrated by a jolly lobster with expressively bulgy eyes, and instead of children "nestled all snug in their beds," readers meet mermaids with "visions of periwinkles" swimming though their heads. Rather than "the moon on the crest of the new-fallen snow," our lobster narrator proclaims, "The moon shells they glimmered like pearls from the glow / Of luminescent jellyfish gliding below." The perfectly rhymed text is full of rich vocabulary and closely follows the original text as Santa arrives at the lobster's underwater shipwreck home to deliver his Christmas gifts. This Santa Claus is a blue walrus in a red rubber suit commanding a conch-shell sleigh pulled by sea horses with names like Limpet and Quahog. Humorous, double-page–spread illustrations were created by combining oil paintings with digital enhancements to create the subtle layered look of the deep sea, and sparkly highlights provide an effervescent accent to underwater bubbles and the title words on the cover. A clever and creative parody of the old holiday chestnut. (Picture book. 4-7) Copyright Kirkus 2012 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2012 September #2

In this undersea interpretation of Clement Clarke Moore's Christmas staple, a googly-eyed lobster narrates, as a pipe-smoking walrus Santa descends to deliver presents in a conch shell sleigh pulled by seahorses. Kelleher's (illustrator of Stuck on the Presidents) narrative sometimes pushes the undersea theme a bit too far, as when the lobster awakens aboard a wrecked ship: "Up to the porthole I swam like a shark;/ I tore back the seaweed then peered through the dark./ The moon shells they glimmered like pearls from the glow/ Of luminescent jellyfish gliding below." A mix of digital and oil painting, Andreasen's (The Hand-Me-Down Doll) cartoons are unfailingly cheerful, creating a friendly underwater environment. Ages 4-8. (Oct.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2012 October

PreS-Gr 1--An underwater version of the Christmas poem with a tusked-walrus Santa and a lobster observer of the magical visitor "Decked out in red rubber from his toes to his collar." Santa's conch-shell sleigh is pulled by eight lively sea horses. The vibrant candy-colored illustrations, created using digital underpainting combined with traditional oil painting, have an antic cartoon charm that adds energy to the sometimes belabored adaptation. This one is only for those who cherish the sea; fans of Ariel and Sponge Bob may enjoy the gentle humor.--Anne Connor, Los Angeles Public Library

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