The Night Before Christmas book cover image

The Night Before Christmas

  • 1995

Performed by Peter, Paul and Mary
Illustrated by Eric Puybaret
Written by Clement C. Moore

A unique offering of a book and CD recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary.

Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas without a reading of Clement C. Moore's classic verse, which has brightened the season ever since it was first published in 1823. And now this heartwarming poem is more dazzling than ever before.

Acclaimed painter Eric Puybaret enchantingly captures the story's magic and wide-eyed wonder: a cozy home with stockings hung by a mantel; visions of sugarplums dancing in the dreams of sleeping children; a miniature sleigh pulled by eight prancing reindeer; and of course, jolly Santa, with his merry dimples and twinkling eyes, coming down the chimney with a bagful of toys.

Along with the beautiful book comes a specially created three-track musical and narrative CD, including Moore's tale stunningly set to music by Noel Paul Stookey, an enchanting reading by Mary Travers over a special score composed by Peter Yarrow with Peter and Noel joining Mary one last time in her final performance, plus the classic Peter, Paul and Mary holiday favorite, "A' Soalin." Families will gather together to read and listen and experience Moore's wondrous world as never before.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Clement C. Moore, author

Clement C. Moore is the author of A Visit from St. Nicholas (now more commonly known as The Night Before Christmas). He was born in 1779, and became a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at what is now Columbia University. The poem was first published in the New York Sentinel on December 23, 1823.

Read more about Clement.

Peter, Paul, and Mary, performers

Peter, Paul and Mary became famous for their ability to convey powerful, personal, and political messages through a repertoire of songs that resonated with millions of Americans in the 1960s. Their 1962 debut album remained in the Top 10 for ten months, and the Top 20 for two years. Their first hit single, “Lemon Tree,” was swiftly followed by “If I Had a Hammer,” which became an anthem of the Civil Rights movement and was performed by the trio at the 1963 March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his legendary, “I Have a Dream” speech. Their classic song, “Puff, the Magic Dragon” has been a favorite of children for almost fifty years, an d the book version was a number-one best seller. Over a span of more than fifty years, Peter, Paul and Mary touched the lives and hearts of tens of millions of people, won five Grammy Awards, produced thirteen Top 40 hits, and received eight gold and five platinum albums.

Read more about Peter, Paul and Mary.

Eric Puybaret, Illustrator

Eric Puybaret is the best-selling illustrator of Puff, the Magic Dragon, and The Night Before Christmas, performed by Peter, Paul and Mary, as well as numerous books in his native France. His art has been called "elegantly rendered," by the New York Times; "graceful [and] whimsical," by Publishers Weekly; and "lovely...and indeed magical," by Kirkus Reviews.

Read more about Eric Puybaret.

Editorial Reviews:

Publishers Weekly, starred review

Puybaret (Puff, the Magic Dragon) infuses Moore's classic poem with whimsical details: the family's warm house is filled with folk art–style decorations and twinkling fairies, as a gnomelike Santa unloads his gifts, then prepares to rise up the chimney. The full-bleed artwork, layered shapes, and vibrant palette (Santa's coat shines against a glacier blue sky and green sleigh) make the paintings appear almost three-dimensional. An accompanying CD includes recordings by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Ages 5–8. (Oct.)

Family Circle, December 2011

Gorgeous paintings by artist Eric Puybaret accompany the legenary folk trio of Peter, Paul and Mary. Narrative and musical versions of Clement C. Moore's timeless poem delight on the included three-track CD, which features Mary's last performance.

Kirkus Reviews

It can be hard to make a new picture-book version of this old Christmas chestnut stand out. This edition manages the feat through the combination of Puybaret's deeply saturated, jewel-toned acrylics and the accompanying CD, which features the spoken-word narration of the late Mary Travers, with musical accompaniment from Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey, a sung version from Stookey and Peter, Paul and Mary's 1963 classic, "A'Soalin." Even soundless, the book's a lovely one, the paintings infused with deep blue undertones that will prove restful in this relentlessly red-and-green season, composed with just-right whimsy (the reindeer all sport different types of hats, for instance) and depicting vaguely Tyrolean interiors that charm; page turns work smoothly with the familiar text. Add in the generous trim, and this one's worth making room for. (Picture book. 2 & up)

School Library Journal

The traditional Christmas poem is accompanied by lush acrylic paintings that use deep reds, greens, and blues to create a magical, yet cozy, setting for Santa's visit. Every detail, from the flowing capes on the reindeer to the comfy furnishings to the enchanting ornaments on the Christmas tree, evokes a feeling of serenity and anticipation. The book includes a CD with three tracks: a low-key lyrical rendition of the poem by Noel Paul Stookey, a reading of the poem by Mary Travis with musical accompaniment, and a recording of "A'Soalin" by Peter, Paul, and Mary. —Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library


Download the Cover


Hardcover w/CD
ISBN: 978-1-936140-06-0

E-book PDF
ISBN: 978-1-60734-347-9
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: All ages
Page count: 26
11 3/8 x 10 1/2

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