Picture Book Illustrator & Author

The Night Before Christmas

Written and Illustrated by Loren Long

“Tender and gentle and altogether lovely.” - Kirkus Review

Cozy up with the timeless tale that’s been reimagined for the twenty-first century by acclaimed artist Loren Long. Featuring four different homes that reflect the diverse world we live in, Long’s lush landscapes and charming scenes capture the wonder and magic of Christmas.

This gorgeous, modern edition of The Night Before Christmas will delight readers old and new and is a must-have for every family library.

“A visual treatment of an old poem that’s both nostalgic and fresh. The cover art focuses on St. Nick driving his airborne sleigh against the full moon. Flying reindeer pulling the sleigh break the cover’s right edge, leading into the book. The illustrations’ soft style establishes an old-fashioned look. Long’s central artistic conceit is revealed at the bottom of the picture, where he establishes four settings that Santa visits: a cityscape, a farm, a trailer park, and a palm-tree–dotted neighborhood. It’s refreshing to see artistic acknowledgement of Christmastime outside of snowy, rural, Rockwellian settings, and the endpapers show characters to be as diverse as their homes: an interracial sibling pair decorates a tree; a child who appears Black drafts a letter to Santa; two brown-skinned children draw a large fireplace scene; and three White-appearing children, one using a wheelchair, make cookies. The “right jolly old elf” himself is decidedly elfin, with a diminutive stature, and presents White with a ruddy complexion. In keeping with other versions, parents are depicted as the “I” of the text, and Long maintains his commitment to inclusion and diversity in their characterization as he switches among settings to show them encountering Santa. These shifts don’t follow a rigid sequence, and seasonal details in décor (several crèche scenes, stockings, trees, and even a menorah on the mantelpiece in the evidently bicultural urban home) offer additional visual interest.” 

- Kirkus Review


"In detailed art rendered in acrylic paint and colored pencil, Long adds an intriguing dimension to Clement C. Moore’s poem, visiting four families in different locales: a snow-covered farmhouse, a mobile home, a city apartment, and a tile-roofed house framed by palm trees. The artist’s introductory note explains that he took “visual clues directly from the famous text” and renders “a little old driver” and other components on a diminutive scale, to winsome effect (in one scene, Santa’s not much bigger than a group of household kitties). Readers see a diverse quartet of families asleep in their beds on Christmas Eve and view Santa soaring through the sky to deliver presents to each abode. The eclectic architecture, décor, holiday decorations, family configurations, and pet menageries shape a welcoming and inclusive portrait of Christmas Eve peace, wonder, and anticipation." - Publishers Weekly

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