‘Twas the Evening of Christmas

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From School Library Journal

PreS-Gr 1—The biblical story of Jesus’s birth is told in the style of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic poem, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas”: “And out in the fields, taking care of their sheep,/Some shepherds were just getting ready to sleep./When all of a sudden, they had such a fright,/As a whole choir of angels lit up the night.” Each of the baby’s visitors are included in the poem which faithfully follows the Book of Luke aside from Mary’s “Merry Christmas” at the end. Selivanova’s realistic digital art is rendered in jewel tones with soft edges. Light emanates from the baby Jesus, as well as the moon. The resulting illustrations, paired with the calm, rhyming text, have a peaceful effect, making this a perfect choice for bedtime. VERDICT A sweet take on a Christmas classic with a Nativity setting.—Jessica Ko, Los Angeles Public Library


In a skillfully composed text that mimics the phrasing and cadence of Clement C. Moore familiar holiday poem, Nellist presents a Nativity story that balances a lighthearted, anticipatory tone with an overarching reverence for the subject matter. Twas the evening of Christmas, when all through the town,/Every inn was so crowded, no room could be found, she begins, incorporating the animals of the stable, the nearby shepherds, and the visiting Magi into her retelling (The pigeons were nestled all snug in their beds,/ While visions of breadcrumbs danced and round in their headsand). Russian illustrator Selivanova evocative paintings feature soft lines and gentle shifts between sunlight, moonglow, starlight, and shadow–as well as light that seems to emanate from the newborn child. Her gauzy, muted palette and shifting perspectives (in one scene, the shepherds are seen from above, through clusters of angels and wings) fully immerse readers in the unfolding events. Ages 4 and 8. (Publishers Weekly)

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Children's Christian Holiday Fiction

Children's Jesus Books (Books)

Christian Home Schooling