12 Days Of Xmas Book Reviews, Day 11: The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

By Emma Davis

23rd December 2018
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

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Author: Kes Gray

Illustrator: Claire Powell

Publisher: Hodder

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas is, as the title suggests, all about the chaos and busyness associated with 23rd December.  There’s so much to do to prepare for the big day – there are ten billion presents to make, test and wrap!   The elves are hard at work – ‘there was no time to rest, there was no time to shirk.’  As the preparations are in full swing, Santa is sure there’s something he’s forgotten.  What could it be?  Still puzzled, he continues to work his way through his list.

Reindeers have spent the whole year sleeping but now it’s time to wake up, refuel and get ready for their important job.  Santa checks his sleigh, the elves get wrapping but there’s no time for breakfast…it’s Christmas Eve morning!

With minutes to spare, ten billion presents are loaded into Santa’s magic sack ready for departure.  He checks through his list…what has he forgotten?!  Then zooms off into the Christmas Eve night sky on his mission to deliver presents all around the world.  It’s not until the very last page that Mrs Claus reveals what Santa has forgotten!

This is a wonderfully special book to share in the run up to Christmas which evokes a sense of tradition.  Children will revel in the magic of Christmas, and the extensive preparations which go into getting everything ready for the big day.  It feels very much like a behind the scenes look at Christmas and reminds me of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore.  This updated version is perfectly tailored to the understanding of Early Years children who will find the rhyming text and context of the book easy to listen to and follow.

The fabulous illustrations by Claire Powell offer lots to look at and spot on every page.  The illustration of Santa’s sack, bulging with ten billion presents is a particular favourite of mine…then seeing it shrink down with Christmas magic is a wonderful touch.

I can see this book becoming a festive favourite year after year.

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