25 Days – Book 13: Holly Hobbie’s The Night Before Christmas

It is the thirteenth day of December and we are back again for a quick Advent book journey review. Taking up a traditional text with another illustrator’s interpretation of it, here is Holly Hobbie’s The Night Before Christmas, written by Clement C. Moore and illustrated by Holly Hobbie, 1970.

I will not write again the details about this much known and recited text, but instead, let us focus on the illustrations. I am a huge fan of Holly Hobbie, especially her recent Toot & Puddle series and most deeply her Fanny book which I have yet to review here. This book however is from her early work and the illustration style is old, and comfortable, and just plain lovely. She takes a literal spin on the text, illustrating what it narrates, and creates sweet illustrations for each section. I love the details she sets into each vignette. That quilt on the children’s bed is one of my favorite pieces, not to mention their sweet faces.

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Her Santa is adorable and what I think most children come to see as the picturesque version of old St. Nick. He remains one of the most whimsical characters in this book, everything else having a realistic yet still illustrated style. Even the reindeer maintain a natural look while he looks like an elf amongst them.

I don’t remember reading this book as a child, but something about her style and pictures makes me feel like home. The illustrations are muted. And the vignettes are a gentle way to frame each section. I’m not a huge fan of the large type which seems to be rivaling attention from the art, but I think her detailed style works so well in the tiny, invisible frames she has on each page. This is an excellent vintage version of the classic poem, that gives a new look to the familiar stanzas. I will let you in on a secret though, Holly Hobbie has illustrated this text again very recently and I am ecstatic to show it to you very soon! It is a beautiful new version and completely different. So fascinating! Stay tuned!

And follow along our book adventure at 25 Days of Christmas Books 2014!

2 thoughts on “25 Days – Book 13: Holly Hobbie’s The Night Before Christmas

  1. This is one of my favorite blogs. You are an excellent writer and have great ideas about books. I usually check out your blog before heading to the library. :o)

    My all-time favorite Christmas book is Morris’ Disappearing Bag. Have you heard of it?

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    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting Corrie! I’m so glad my posts are helpful in some way. I enjoy talking about books immensely. I have not seen Morris’ Disappearing Bag yet, but we are big Rosemary Wells fans, especially of her Bunny Planet series. I hope to post on them in the New Year. They are some of Joanna’s most favorite. I will be sure to look for Morris’ Disappearing Bag this time too! Thanks!

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