Thursday, December 07, 2006

A Cool Holiday Book...

I just came across the holiday title A Creature Was Stirring, a new take on "'Twas the Night Before Christmas," published by Simon & Schuster. Maybe it's the fact that it snowed this morning in the Nati, or maybe I'm more excited about Christmas than usual because I have a 2-year-old, but when I saw the cover of this book, it gave me a warm happy holiday feeling in my tummy.

The illustrator/adaptor Carter Goodfinch uses humorous couplets from the persceptive of a little boy anticipating Santa's visit along side the classic lines from Moore's poem.

I have a soft spot for "'Twas the Night Before Christmas"--it played a part in my very first byline back in my intern days. I wrote a column for the now defunct Decorative Artist's Workbook magazine about traditional and nontraditional designs for painting Santa Claus, and Santa images from around the world. I got to talk about Moore's poem and the first depiction of Santa as fat and jolly:

He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;

The opening illustration for the column was Thomas Nast's drawing that appeared with Moore's poem. (I also got to compose this brilliant line: "No, Virginia, there is not a Santa Claus--there are many.")

I wasn't planning on putting up a tree or decorating this year, but I've changed my mind. This weekend I'm getting out my Christmas tree (a fake silver one from the '50s that I got on eBay a few years ago). Maybe I'll wrap some gifts. Hang up some lights. Go to the mall. I'm having visions of sugar-plums!

I've been a pretty good girl this year, I'd say. I hope Mr. Claus is good to me. He's cordially invited to my roof.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.


aforment said...

This book was very popular at our book fair last week. Really lovely. Children force us to enjoy Christmas, even if we'd rather be Ebenezers. Retro trees shimmer so much you have to smile. harriedmom

David said...

Hey Alice, finally got around to checking out the blog. It's wonderful. Lisa T.

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