Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Night Before Christmas illustrated by Robert Ingpen - Book Giveaway + Cotton Ball Santa Beard Countdown Calendar

Did you find your shoes filled with treats yesterday? December 6th marked St. Nicholas Day. While many of us leave stockings out on Christmas Eve, the origins of Santa Claus can be traced back to the real Saint Nicholas, a bishop that lived from 270 to 343 A.D. in what is now Turkey. Bishop Nicholas helped the poor through giving generous gifts and was a miracle worker. Later on, around 1820, the legend of Santa Claus started to become popular. Clement C. Moore's poem, "The Night Before Christmas" helped popularize this familiar figure and the gift giving on Christmas Eve. Time Magazine published an informative two-minute bio of Santa Claus, if you're interested in reading more about St. Nick and Santa. Also, the VeggieTales movie, Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving, is a great way to introduce children to the story of the real Saint Nicholas.

While we don't own a book about the real St. Nicholas, we do own several copies of The Night Before Christmas. Thanks to Sterling Children's Books, we had the chance to read a newly illustrated version of Clement C. Moore's beloved poem.

The Night Before Christmas by Clement C. Moore; illustrated by Robert Ingpen; Sterling (October 2010); ISBN 9781402781827; 48 pages
Book Source: Review copy provided by publisher

For those that celebrate Christmas, owning a copy of The Night Before Christmas is almost a requirement. On Christmas Eve, many people read the poem, in addition to the Biblical story of Jesus' birth. Robert Ingpen's gorgeously illustrated picture book is an excellent interpretation of this familiar poem and makes a wonderful addition to any Christmas book collection.

The incredible paintings in this version balance the fantasy of the story with realism. Ingpen creates a warm, idealized Christmas with highly textured illustrations full of feathery brush strokes and depth. A traditional, classic Santa Claus with a wrinkled, weathered face, full beard, rosy cheeks and fabulous red suit takes center stage in the book. He visits a simple manor house adorned with a tower and several chimneys, a house that could have very well existed at the time the poem was first written. Ingpen's interpretation does not include whimsical touches, like showing sugarplums dancing, but instead the images display the magic of the night in a subdued way.

The book works well as a read-aloud, and is set with an easy-to-read, large font, perfect for low-light environments on Christmas Eve. A short biography of Clement Clarke Moore in the beginning of the book explains the origins of his poem, a story originally intended as a Christmas present for his children. I especially love the well-crafted design and detail displayed in this book. Underneath the dustcover is a bright-red, fabric cover with a simple, classic inset. The endpapers show a starry sky and if you look closely, it almost looks like St. Nick has magically disappeared into the night.

Robert Ingpen has also illustrated several other classics including The Christmas Carol. He's an accomplished Australian author and illustrator and has won several awards for his works.

❖❖❖❖❖❖ Cotton Ball Santa Beard Countdown Calendar ❖❖❖❖❖❖

It's not too late to start counting down to Christmas. My daughter made an adorable Santa Claus out of construction paper. His cotton beard marks the days until Christmas arrives. She started by gluing on 24 cotton balls onto her red-nosed Santa and each day she removes a cotton ball from Santa's beard. I've seen other versions of this craft, but they all usually involve gluing on a cotton ball to mark the days instead of taking one off. I like the idea of removing rather than adding because you don't have to keep a supply of cotton balls and glue handy to use every day.

For other versions of this fun craft, visit the following websites:
Kaboose.com Santa Advent Calendar Craft
First-School.ws Santa Craft Calendar
Oopsey Daisy Santa Beard Countdown with accompanying poem

Sterling Children's Books has graciously offered to giveaway a copy of this lovely, classically styled version of The Night Before Christmas to a Brimful Curiosities reader.

To enter, leave a comment relevant to this post.
• For contact purposes, if you are a non-blogger or your email is not accessible in your blog profile, please leave a valid email address within the comment section.
• Contest is open to US
• Contest ends on Wednesday, Dec. 15th, 2010 at 11:59 PM CST.
• Winner will be chosen at random and sent an email notification.
Three ways to gain extra entries (Maximum total entries is 4; please leave a separate comment for each entry):
1st extra entry: Blog about this contest then post your link in the comment section.
2nd extra entry: Follow me on twitter (iambrimful) and tweet about the contest.
3rd extra entry: Follow Me! or subscribe by email or RSS reader

I am an Amazon affiliate and may receive a very small commission for products purchased through my Amazon links. (View my full disclosure statement for more information about my reviews.)


Bridget R. Wilson said...

What a beautiful version of an old favorite. This may replace Mary Engelbreit's version as my favorite. Love the Santa countdown Idea.


Bridget R. Wilson said...

I follow your blog through Google Reader.


Bridget R. Wilson said...

I tweeted about the giveaway & follow you on Twitter.



Jen @ Happy Little Homemaker said...

I saw a cotton ball santa advent calendar that had a number strip through his hat. This would be a great addition to our holiday book collection!

Amy said...

We are just starting our holiday book collection - this would be a great way to begin!

Alison @ Oopsey Daisy said...

Thanks so much for linking to my post!! I love your blog and can't wait to read more!!


Taffy said...

The illustrations look like they'll be beautiful!


Jenny said...

Looks like a great book!

That's a cool idea to take off the cotton balls instead of putting them on every day!

Natalia said...

Nice holiday giveaway!
natatheangel at yahoo dot com

John said...

Santa Advent Calendar looks great!
jdrombo at yahoo dot com

Theresa N. said...

The Night Before Christmas is always a must read for us at Christmas time.
Theresa N

phxbne said...

somehow we have about 10 Christmas books but no The Night Before Christmas

Judy@grammyreads.com said...

I can't believe I don't own this title. Please enter -e. The letter after L is broken on the keyboard....grrr...Joyeux Noel!

Asylumgirl said...

I love those adorable things the kinds make and bring home from school this time of year.

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Asylumgirl said...

2nd extra entry: Following you on twitter and tweeted about the contest. @ddurance

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Asylumgirl said...

3rd extra entry: subscribed by email

deidre_durance at hotmail dot com

Terra Heck said...

I'd like to win this book for my kids. The calendar is a neat idea. Thanks.

skkorman said...

Great giveaway—please enter me to win!

skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

a Grandma said...

Would love to win this book. Then we could do our Christmas puzzle and read this book.


Staci A said...

The book sounds wonderful! And I love the Santa beard countdown. We're counting down using an activity for every day and envelopes we remove from the wall. My son loves it!
mommastaci33 at yahoo dot com

annies home said...

this book looks like a great one and the santa beard would be so much fun

annies home said...

follow on twitter and tweeted


Anonymous said...

I follow your blog.

What a cute idea for a craft project. I've seen count down calendars where you get to have a piece of candy or a small cookie each day until Christmas.

This book would be a welcome addition to my collection.
: )

♡♥♬ Raven In A Blue Room ♬♥♡ said...

I love the illustrations, and I am sure my daughters would love it too

Thank you for hosting this giveaway

schnitzomage {at} gmail {dot} com

DaddyFr0gg said...

My family used to read this on Christmas Eve when I was younger. I don't have a copy of any version, though. I'd love to continue the tradition with my own kids.

Anonymous said...

I would love to share the book and count-down calendar with my preschool classroom!

KM said...

I'd love to win this book so I can start a tradition of reading it with my 1 yr old! mrskmartin78@gmail.com

Amber said...

I love the vintage feel to this book - it would be so much fun to read to the kids!
Thank you for the giveaway :)

Stephanie said...

My little boy is excited about Christmas for the first time - just loving it!
tvollowitz at aol dot com

David said...

I would love to add this to our collection

Cody said...

My girlfriend would love this book!


1993wel said...

I would love to win a copy of this version of The Night Before Christmas. What a beautiful book! I know the childen at my eleemntary school would love this as a read-aloud!

Anonymous said...



poison_ivy777 said...

Would love to finally own a copy of this book!


Tarah said...

What a great story this is and how wonderful it would be to own!


Gretta said...

The artwork in this book is incredible! Thanks for the chance to win

bamagv at aol dot com

Gretta said...

I follow you on Twitter & tweeted with a RT to you!

bamagv at aol dot com

Carole Spring said...

This sounds like a beautiful book illustrating the classic The Night Before Christmas story. I would love to win this for my grandchildren.

Carole Spring said...

I follow you on Twitter (@cspring31971) and I tweeted.

Anonymous said...

I used to have a copy of this story that was textured with felt on the book!


Anonymous said...

I would love to win this book!


Amy delong said...

would really like this to read this to my sons

Anonymous said...

looks like a beautiful book and illustrations!
june_spirit2628 at hotmail dot com

Maja said...

follow you @majameza


Anonymous said...

I like the cover of the book plus I used to make those cotton ball santas when i was in school


Anonymous said...

I follow and tweeted