Holiday Book Review
The Little Books of Christmas
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Everyone knows that famous poem written by Clement Clark Moore entitled The Night Before Christmas. Who can forget that sweet little tale about a father and his first view of Santa Claus as he delivered gifts to the family? “’Twas the night before Christmas…” Those famous words are imprinted upon our minds for eternity.
Recently, I have discovered a series of small books inspired by this infamous poem, but tailored to specific individuals. The books are fairly tiny in size, ranging from three to five inches in height, and are published by several different publishing companies. They are usually sold in hardcover form, but I have seen paperback versions. Each one is filled with illustrations.
One particular series is tailored to specific professions. Published by Gibb Smith, Publisher, the books sell for approximately $6.00 in the United States. There's A Police Officer’s Night Before Christmas, a story that begins with the usual “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”, but the rest of the story is very different from the classic poem. In this tale, Santa’s having a rather bad day. One of the runners on his sleigh has come loose. In hopes of finding a screwdriver to repair the runner, Santa parks his sleigh full of toys in a No Parking Zone and sets out in search of tools. Upon his return, he discovers that his sleigh and all of the toys are missing! Horrified, Santa calls 911 and soon the local police department begins the search for the missing sleigh. The sleigh, of course, had been impounded by the Highway Patrol! The tale of the search is hysterical and the accompanying drawings serve to add more laughter to the already humorous poem.
Another Christmas mini-book is The Night Before Cat-mas, a member of a series of tiny Christmas books published by Peter Pauper Press, Inc. that sells for $6.00 in the United States. This specific book is tailored toward cat lovers, but there is also a book available for dog lovers (The Night Before Dog-mas). In this book, we see The Night Before Christmas through a cat’s eyes. Old familiar lines from the Christmas classic are altered to fit out feline friends: St. Nicholas has become St. Kittyclaws and the kittens are nestled in their beds with visions of catnip dancing in their heads. Cat lovers will enjoy the tale from cover to cover, laughing at the parody with its accompanying illustrations. As an added attraction to the book, there is a kitty charm (or in the case of the dog book, a puppy charm) attached to the book via a red ribbon book mark.
There are many other series of The Night Before Christmas parodies. Some take place in different locations, such as The Night Before Christmas in Hawaii, The Night Before Christmas in North Carolina and The Night Before Christmas in Arizona. Each of these books contain different Santa tales that all begin with “Twas the night before Christmas”. And then, there are books tailored to members of the family such as A Father’s Night Before Christmas or A Grandmother’s Night Before Christmas.
All in all, these books are highly entertaining. The writing is amusing and the illustrations are hilarious. They aren’t too expensive and are small enough to fit in a Christmas stocking. The added plus of a hard cover means that the gift will last quite a while. Plus, you can find them in just about any book store. I highly recommend these books – they make terrific stocking stuffers!
For more Christmas recommendations, check out our Christmas Recommendations article.