25 Days – Book 24: The Night Before Christmas (Zwerger)

The day before Christmas is upon us. While there are many, many books that focus on Clement Moore’s famous poem all with different perspectives, styles and creators; this illustrated version is among one of my favorites. With unique and gorgeous paintings by Lisbeth Zwerger, revisit The Night Before Christmas, 2005.

I realize there isn’t much to add about this poem that most American Christmasers have memorized, so allow me to focus on the marvelous illustrations of Zwerger for this edition. I have long been captivated by Lisbeth Zwerger and the sheer elegance, skill, colors, and stunning nature of her books. She adds a depth of mystery with her deep watercolor palette and the spare use of detail in each image. There is a fearlessness to the subtlety of her style and her choices between bleeding a page with color and only adding tiny illustrations bordered by a sea of white.

The Night Before Christmas inside spread 1

I particularly find her St. Nick character to be incredibly intriguing. I have never seen a St. Nick quite like this one with his stubbiness, lack of clothing embellishments, and almost dwarf-like qualities. He is fascinating and a great fit for the world Zwerger has created for this poem.

The Night Before Christmas inside spread 2

I love revisiting a familiar story with a completely different interpretation in illustration. It can be an entirely new world created by the unique view of the illustrator.

May your night before Christmas be pleasant, restful and as always, magical.

“Merry Christmas to all,
and to All a Good Night.”

Follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas in 2013.

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