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The Night Before Christmas:
Clement C. Moore's beloved poem about Santa's arrival on Christmas Eve has been illustrated by hundreds of artists since its first publication in 1823. Two collectors of antique children's books have selected a variety of these charming pictures from Arthur Rackham, Jessie Willcox Smith, Thomas Nast, and other renowned children's illustrators of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Most of the images are from versions of the poem; a few are from antique postcards or magazines. Source notes for all the illustrations are included. Santa is dressed differently by each artist, but he is always "chubby and plump--a right jolly old elf" who brings joy to all good little girls and boys. This attractive edition of The Night Before Christmas will be enjoyed most by collectors of children's books or lovers of things Victorian. Youngsters who are already familiar with the poem will delight in comparing the different old-fashioned Santas and the children of long ago "nestled all snug in their beds." A charming holiday gift to leave under the tree on Christmas Eve for anyone who believes in the magic of Santa Claus. (Ages 5 to adult) --Marcie Bovetz [via]