Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas
Clement C. Moore
~ Leonard Weisgard ~ Grosset & Dunlap, 1949

Nine days to go... Just a heads up, I know a lot of you folks will be heading out for the holidays, but be sure and tune in on Monday for a very special Great Monday Give. The give will run for two weeks and the winner won't be announced until January 5th, so stay tuned. I might be taking a few days off here and there, but for the most part, I'll be here doing what I always do.
That said, here is another version of the Clement C. Moore classic illustrated by the great Leonard Weisgard. Originally entitled "A Visit from Saint Nicholas" and written as a Christmas gift for his children in 1822, it is the most famous of Christmas poems and perhaps even one of the most famous poems, period. Check out the scan of the original copy given to his kids... putting to sleep the decades old debate with myself... "So is it Donner or Donder? Bloody hell." About.com has a glossary giving definitions to those confounding words like sash and clatter and droll and ere, just in case any of you librarians were confused. (I'm having one of those isn't the Internet a wealth of information? moments. Pardon.) Suffer through my favorite descriptive line please...

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

Good stuff. Every year I like to reread this and A Christmas Carol to see how yet another year farther and farther way from my youth has changed my perception of these glorious tomes. (Too though I am biased as an ex-employee and true Muppet lover, please don't miss out on showing your kids The Muppet Christmas Carol... my old Scrooge of a husband thinks Michael Caine serves as the best one yet.... truly, I cry every year.)

Also by:
The Quiet Noisy Book
Little Chicken
The Little Island
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Treasures to See
The Big Book of Nursery Tales
The Night Before Christmas


Anonymous said...

What a coincidence...my son pulled this one out of the Holiday book stash last night (different illustrator) but funny enough when I got to the line about "Donder" I said out loud...I thought it was "Donner". As an even odder twist I found a copy of THE ANNOTATED NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by MARTIN GARDNER yesteraday at our local library sale...so maybe I will find the answer in the pages. I'll let ya know.

Carm said...

I love this version. His illustrations are great!

Lori Calabrese said...

I love your blog and seeing all of the books that I read as a child. That's why I'm awarding you the Honest Scrap Award!

You can visit my blog for the details!
All the best,

Morning Glory said...

I found your blog as I was searching for a copy of "'Twas The Night Before Christmas" like I had when I was a little girl. I don't remember much about it except that it was a tall (maybe 1 1/2 - 2 ft.) thin book that was shaped funny...like a side view of Santa waving or something. My Dad used to read it to me and my sister every Christmas Eve...I don't know whatever happened to it. I'd like to find one like it to give to my baby niece, Zoe for Christmas next year. Does this one sound familiar to you?

Burgin Streetman said...

it wouldn't happen to be this one would it... it was published by whitman and the suit on the santa on the cover its velvety to the touch, like mouse hair... it is tall and thin and has a different cutout shape at the top... the first is a link to the edition i have... the second link is to the same book with a slightly altered cover... hope this helps!



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