The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Kes Gray and Claire Powell
Advent Calendar / The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas by Kes Gray and Claire Powell

It’s the ‘Happy Birthday’ of children’s literature, a poem constructed from iron girders and designed to stay standing even as the ground shifts beneath it and the holiday it represents changes out of all recognition. The Night Before Christmas is the original and perhaps even the best Christmas book. It’s been interpreted by countless artists … Continue reading

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Tomie dePaola
Advent Calendar / The Night Before Christmas

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Tomie dePaola

In previous years we’ve seen a modern update and a tactile app version, but this folksy 1980 edition takes us about as close as it is possible to the mid 19th century America of its author Clement Moore’s imagination. Tomie dePaola, author of the magic pasta pot adventures of Strega Nona, sets his version of … Continue reading

The Night Before Christmas by William Wallace Denslow
Advent Calendar / The Night Before Christmas

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 … Continue reading

Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy
Advent Calendar / The Night Before Christmas

Another Night Before Christmas by Carol Ann Duffy

Another Night Before Christmas by Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy is a sensitively updated re-imaging. The references aren’t quite ‘Strictly’ specific, so it manages to retain its timelessness. Helped by the mid century stylings of French illustrator Marc Boutavant who adds plentiful witty touches like the satellite dish manned by a dog. It’s an effortlessly light adaptation, … Continue reading