Reviews for Night Before Christmas


Booklist Monthly Selections - #1 September 2001
Ages 4-8. The conceit setting this apart from myriad versions of Moore's beloved poem is that this "photographic album," circa 1901, has been in found under the floorboards of an old house. The book is designed in the manner of an old-fashioned scrapbook, with a cross-stitch design along the borders and buff-colored pages, stained a bit with age, on which photos are "pasted." On the first spread is a letter from Raquel Jaramillo (whose photos illustrate the text), relaying how she discovered the album and offering reasons why it was hidden: "Maybe they made a promise of secrecy to St. Nicholas himself." The sepia-toned photos of the family are not entirely successful. Despite appropriate hairstyles and costumes, the people don't look as if they were from the early twentieth century, perhaps it's because they are smiling. Happily, the other photos are grand. Children see Santa and his reindeer racing across the sky, the jolly old elf going down the chimney and then springing to his sleigh to continue his Christmas ride. The pictures, a combination of traditional and computer-enhanced photography, mix the magic of early photography with holiday sentiment. Yes, Virgina, there's room for another "The Night before Christmas." ((Reviewed September 1, 2001))Copyright 2001 Booklist Reviews

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Horn Book Guide Reviews 2002 Spring
Employing both conventional and computer-enhanced photography, Jaramillo puts a new face on the classic poem. In her ""snapshots,"" allegedly taken during St. Nick's visit to the Gordon family in 1901, a few of the people look a little self-conscious. However, the sepia-toned photos, with their ragged edges and cracked surfaces, have a mysterious, old-fashioned air that complements the text. Copyright 2002 Horn Book Guide Reviews

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Publishers Weekly Reviews 2001 September #4
Moore's chestnut is given fresh-roasted flavor via Jaramillo's (Peter Pan) inventive framework. In a note to the reader, Jaramillo claims to have discovered a collection of photos from 1901. That "antique" family album shown here in grainy, glowingly lit sepia just happens to depict the same series of events found in Moore's famous verse and even captures St. Nick in the flesh. Jaramillo's happy "hoax" an intriguing blend of photography and computer effects may well create some new believers in Christmas magic. All ages. (Oct.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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School Library Journal Reviews 2001 October
PreS Up-Dedicated fans of the classic poem will enjoy many aspects of this newly illustrated version. Jaramillo has created a faux photo album of St. Nick's visit to the Gordon family in 1901, which she claims to have found under the floorboards of her old house. The artwork, which combines traditional and computer-enhanced photography, features ragged-edged, sepia-colored snapshots (supposedly taken by Uncle Russell), album pages with a charming period border, and aged tape labels (written by the youngest Gordon). Jaramillo has broken some of the conventions of the story: the whole family goes downstairs to investigate, and strangely Santa seems to hover in one photo. At times the photos are enchanting, capturing the mystery and wonder of past times and the magic of flying reindeer. At other times the "Victorian family" is stiffly posed and a touch too modern. This lush "historic" view will appeal to fans of the photographer and collectors of picture-book editions of the poem.-A. C. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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