New St. Nick: The Night Before Christmas by Rachel Isadora
A jolly old St. Nick wearing snow-white dreads and Kente cloth jacket trimmed with zebra fur and leopard-print trousers delivers the Christmas goods in Caldecott Award artist Rachel Isadora's new version of the venerable "A Visit from St. Nicholas" tale. Isadora's family snuggles hopefully in their little house decorated with green, orange and gold ornaments dangling from the ceiling as Santa begins his journey in a sky lighted by a glowing orange setting sun.
This Santa is slimmer and peppier, but just as jovial, as, still using his sleigh and eight, he drops off his gifts to the small house where Mama in her headwrap and Papa with his long green garment and bright lantern gaggle at his arrival just as they do in the traditional Northeastern version. Instead of sugarplums and stuffed stockings, this St. Nick leaves a sock monkey, a carved wooden zebra, a toy car shaped from wire, and plenty of dolls behind, and silhouetted against a silver white moon, waves farewell with the traditional "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night."
Isadora's bright collages and oil paintings in a non-traditional palette give her new The Night Before Christmas (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 2009) a vivid new look while preserving both the text and the essence to the familiar and beloved story. A fresh and ebullient new look at an old classic for the Christmas season!