The Night Before Christmas by William Wallace Denslow

William Walace Denslow’s Saint Nicholas comes dressed in blue furs, a Rip Van Winkle hat and pipe gripped permanently between his teeth.

He looked just like a pedller opening his pack.’


I’d forgotten just how much of the Night Before Christmas was given over to describing the slightly alarming appearance of its protagonist, before reassuring readers that he isn’t here to rob and murder us.

Loud Crow, who also adapted A Charlie Brown Christmas so sublimely last year have produced a retelling of Clement Moore’s the Night Before Christmas with all the bells and whistles, literally. Characters are sprung and hinged in the same way you might find on toys on a Victorian Christmas tree. Absolutely everything jiggles, rattles, snores or spews sweets. But there’s also a sympathy with the source material, bringing out the textures and colours of a vintage children’s book

The pictures are by William Wallace Denslow, the brilliant illustrator behind the original Wizard of Oz books. It’s great to see his humorous, sharply drawn characters brought back to vivid life.

And that, my friends is how to do a Christmas book app. Appy Christmas to all and to all a good night.


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