Twas the Night Before Christmas - Story Snug

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore & Mark Marshall

It is tradition in our house to read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas‘ on Christmas Eve. Some of the wording is old fashioned and difficult for young children to understand but the illustrations in this version make Clement C. Moore’s traditional Christmas poem accessible to a younger generation of readers. The narrator in this version has been changed, instead of the father jumping out of bed and telling the story it is a small boy in striped pyjamas who watches St. Nicholas.

The Story: It’s Christmas Eve and everybody is in bed. Sam is woken by a noise and proceeds to tell the story of what he sees. He watches St. Nicholas flying through the sky with his reindeer before he comes down the chimney to deliver presents and fill stockings.

The Night Before Christmas has a lovely glittery cover showing Saint Nicholas flying through a starry sky in his sleigh. The story starts with a beautiful spread showing a Christmas tree and a fireplace hung with stockings. Everybody is asleep including the dog and a mouse who is sleeping under his own tiny stocking. Then we watch with the little boy as a bespectacled St. Nicholas calls out to his reindeer as they fly through the night sky. I was confused by the fact that one of the reindeer was referred to as Donder, it seems that the seventh reindeer has not always been called Donner (which is the German word for thunder).

Mark Marshall’s whimsical illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to the poem. St. Nicholas has a warm smile and twinkly eyes and the fact that the dog wakes up and is happy to see him also shows Sam that he has nothing to fear. My daughter was concerned about St. Nicholas burning himself in the fire but decided that his special clothes would protect him! I love the way that children accept the idea of reindeer flying through the sky with no question but then pick up on practicalities like fire safety!

This is a lovely version to introduce the littlest people to The Night Before Christmas and it’s the perfect bedtime story for Christmas Eve.

Age Range: 3+

Author: Clement C. Moore / Illustrator: Mark Marshall

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending us this beautifully illustrated version of The Night Before Christmas.

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12 responses to “The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore & Mark Marshall”

  1. Verily Victoria Vocalises avatar

    I still totally love this book and the poem – it is a Christmas tradition 🙂 Thank you for linking to #PoCoLo x

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a lovely Christmas tradition and I found it fascinating to read about its history.

  2. Barbara Ann Mojica avatar

    Read it to my children on Christmas Eve for many, many years!

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s timeless isn’t it 🙂

  3. Mel avatar

    We’ve also got a simplified version, by Malou Evans and I am really looking forward to reading it with the little ones next month!

    1. Catherine avatar

      For me Christmas isn’t Christmas without this book 🙂

  4. Tracey Abrahams avatar

    I adore this tale. This would be a fantastic pre christmas present for any little person xx #pocolo

    1. Catherine avatar

      It is a lovely story to read in the run up to Christmas 🙂

  5. Barbara Ann Mojica avatar

    Looks really cute for the little ones…..I just reviewed Joan Holub’s parody….The Knights Before Christmas

    1. Catherine avatar

      I saw a great review of Joan’s new book, I love the play on words 🙂

  6. Ronna Mandel avatar

    I never tire of seeing great interpretations of the beloved poem.

    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s a lovely poem isn’t it. This is a particularly good version for toddlers and pre-schoolers.