CM . . . .
Volume V Number 19 . . . . May 21, 1999
Twas the night before Christmas,While the words of Clement C. Moore's classic Christmas story in verse, now more than 170 years old, are certainly familiar to most people, what sets this version apart are the three-dimensional illustrations rendered in Fimo by Kim Fernandes. Young listeners first enter a cluttered children's room as they sleep and then see dad at the window in his (sleeping) cap. The setting then switches to an exterior view as Santa's sleigh swings in over the village before landing on the family's roof. Most of the action then occurs in the living room as Santa eats his cookies and milk and fills the family's stockings before returning to his rooftop sleigh and uttering his parting words, "Merry Christmas to all, And to all a good night." An interesting and homey illustration touch is Fernandes' addition of a curious family cat, a creature not mentioned in Moore's verse. The details found in the illustrations are simply amazing, and Fernandes adds difficulty to her work by constantly changing the viewer's perspective. A very slight illustration accuracy faux pas occurs, however, when Santa comes down the chimney, and Moore's text says, "And his clothes were all tarnished With ashes and soot," but Fernandes' illustration shows an immaculate Santa. Definitely a title to be added to all libraries' Christmas collections, and a book that parents (and grandparents) should consider for home libraries.
Dave Jenkinson teaches children's and YA literature in the Faculty of Education, the University of Manitoba.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.