top of page

The Night Before Christmas

The Folio Society, Oct 2023

Written by Clement C. Moore

It’s Christmas Eve, a family is sleeping, stockings hung expectantly above the fireplace, when a noise outside announces a night-time visitor… One of the most recognisable and best-loved Christmas tales, The Night Before Christmas has been read to, and read by, excited children for 200 years. Written by New York clergyman, Clement C. Moore, the poem perfectly captures the anticipation and wonder of Christmas Eve, and it shaped our image of the festive season, including the idea of St. Nicholas arriving on a sleigh pulled by reindeer.

This special anniversary edition is a visual extravaganza, with 50 pages of full-colour illustrations by Ella Beech. Brimming with nostalgia, and packed with detail and humour, all readers will be drawn into this magical tale. A stunning fold-out section and glow-in-the-dark binding design complete an extraordinary collectable edition that is the perfect festive gift for children, parents and grandparents alike.



It wouldn’t be Christmas without Clement C. Moore’s famed tale, but there’s something incredibly special about this edition in particular, which marks the 200th anniversary of the book’s original publication on 23 December 1823.

We all know the story, which captures the anticipation and wonder of Christmas Eve so well, and it continues to this day to be a book that delights readers of all ages for good reason. The poem is brimming with nostalgia and humour, and now, thanks to illustrator Ella Beech, the author’s magical tale has been bought to life with a whopping 42 pages of stunning full-colour visuals.

The book itself is beautiful with a hardback design that features a clever fold-out section, glow-in-the-dark binding and an extraordinary level of detail that, in our opinion, makes it the ultimate collectable edition that’s perfect for gifting.

The Independent. 9 best Christmas books for kids to read in the run-up to the big day

Does the world need yet another book illustrating the ubiquitous 1823 poem about stockings hung with care and St. Nick coming down the chimney? If it’s this 200th-anniversary edition, in a glow-in-the-dark slipcase, from the Folio Society (the British publisher known for its beautifully bound volumes), it’s hard to be a grinch. Making her debut as an illustrator, Beech, an established children’s book designer and art director in London, offers a rendition that feels like a modern classic. Using acrylic ink, colored pencil and murky watercolor washes, her images are simultaneously detailed and impressionistic, conjuring a lovely, hazy Christmas dream. Fans of cross-section cutaways will swoon at the dollhouse-like views of the family’s home, with its tiled floors, neatly stacked dishes and toy collection. The arrival of St. Nick and his reindeer (“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer!”) is captured in a climactic gatefold that will prompt extra-happy gazing.

Catherine Hong, New York Times

A proper collection of children’s Christmas books ought to have at least one illustrated version of Clement C. Moore’s 1822 poem “The Night Before Christmas.” All manner of talented artists have taken a crack at this beloved chestnut—Arthur Rackham, Tasha Tudor, Tibor Gergely, Jan Brett—and now Ella Beech takes a turn with “The Night Before Christmas” (Folio Society, 42 pages, $60. In this elegant, slip-cased edition (the box has decorations that glow in the dark), Moore’s verses are unaltered and begin, as ever: “ ’Twas the night before Christmas, / when all through the house . . .” Most illustrators play up the coziness of the tale, what with children all snug in their beds dreaming of sugarplums and suchlike, but the friendly lines and marzipan colors of Ms. Beech’s naif illustrations take coziness to a new level. Young readers will wish they could climb bodily into the pictures to tread on the sleeping family’s soft, colorful carpets and to explore the stockings that St. Nicholas leaves enticingly stuffed when he departs. A pictorial subplot involving the family’s dog and cat add fresh narrative interest to this interpretation of an old, old story.

Wall Street Journal

bottom of page