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Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?
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Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve?

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  979 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Every year, trolls knock down Kyri's door and gobble up her Christmas feast. But this year, the trolls are in for a surprise: a boy and his pet ice bear on their way to Oslo have come in from the cold. And once the ice bear is finished with the trolls, you can bet they won't come knocking next Christmas Eve!

Once again, Jan Brett creates an original Christmas story full of
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published September 23rd 2002 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
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How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreBear Stays Up for Christmas by Karma WilsonWho's That Knocking on Christmas Eve? by Jan Brett
Favorite Christmas Picture Books
5th out of 240 books — 84 voters
How the Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. SeussA Christmas Carol by Charles DickensThe Night Before Christmas by Clement C. MooreThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson
Favorite Christmas Books
83rd out of 656 books — 867 voters

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Community Reviews

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Alright! Lately, I have been taking a break from reading folktales from around the world, but now I am trying to get back into reading more folktales from around the world! I just stumbled upon this little gem of a book called “Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve?” which is a children’s book by Jan Brett that takes place in Norway and it is about how a boy from Finnmark and a young girl named Kyri tried to ward off a pack of trolls from spoiling their Christmas dinner. “Who’s That Knocking on C ...more
Kelly Borton
Jan Brett's books are inspired by her and her husband's travels. Her books are filled full page illustrations representing the region's culture. Who's That Knocking on Christmas Eve was based on her visit to Norway and Finland. The illustrations are colorful and full of motion. Much time can be spent studying the pictures. In this book, you see a pet polar bear, northern lights, structures, and a boy and girl representing the Norwegian culture. Her style incorporates folkstyle with troll and mis ...more
I have a special place in my heart for this book, as the main character is modeled on one of the polar bears at Brookfield Zoo where I used to work. But I think even without that, I would enjoy this fun holiday story.
Loving Jan Brett. Her stories are fantastically unique and the illustrations are so detailed. Beautiful snow filled pictures with lots of great characters, all my children love her books.
Linda Lipko
I never tire of Jan Brett's artistry. What a tremendous gift she possesses. One again, using a Norwegian folktale for the springboard of the story, the illustrations are filled with attention to detail. Each page contains images galore, and while one might think it difficult to focus, Brett always has the two page spreads with a focal point and then smaller images on the periphery.

Cold and weary, Olso travels with his very special ice bear. Spotting chimney smoke and smelling delightful food, Ol
Lisa Overberg
This book was written by Jan Brett. She shares a wonderful story about a little girl who lives with her father in the snowy mountains. Every year on Christmas, their home is broken into by trolls who steal their Christmas meal. This year, while the little girl's father is outside looking for the trolls, she is visited by a boy who is traveling with his ice bear to Oslo. He asks to rest there because he has been traveling a long time. That evening, when the trolls break into the house, they are t ...more
Kathy Cowley
From the author and illustrator of The Mitten comes a delightful Nordic story about a girl and her father who have their Christmas dinner cruelly devoured by impish trolls every year. This year, though, a boy with a polar bear comes, and tries to help them with their troll problem.

I like how this book truly reminds me of when I lived in Finland and visited Sweden--the geographic and story elements ring true to me. The illustrations are beautiful, and like in The Mitten, by glancing at the side p
The detail I liked about Brett's illustrations in this story is the snowflakes on the bottom corner of each page placed exactly where one turns the page. Each snowflake is shown in icy detail. The story in this title I was not fond of.
A tale about a bear, a boy, a warm hut, and trolls. When the trolls smell the delicious meal wafting through the air on a cold Christmas Eve, it takes a boy and his bear to scare them away.
So far my favorite Jan Brett book. THe illustrations are beautiful. THe story is great as a first fairy tale for 3-4 year olds. It's a quick read, but it is a step above the sing songy Goodnight Moons, etc, that plague motherhood (and fatherhood) up to this point.
Oh, how I love Jan Brett's books! This is a wonderful retelling of a book I remember fondly from childhood. My kids loved it just as much and we read it nearly every day in December. It became a teaching tool as we talked about geography, foreshadowing, legends and the importance of repeated storytelling, trolls, Christmas traditions and Nordic animals and handicrafts. And oh, those illustrations! She's so fantastic--each troll has its own personality and the patterns in clothing and furnishings ...more
Kirsten Denny
In this fun Christmas book, a polar bear and his trainer keep trolls away from a house on Christmas Eve. The details in the book show even the wood carving and shapes in the furniture. This book is just long enough for a read aloud and is great for students right before the Christmas break. This is a fun story that has not been told before and is sure to be loved by all. Even if the child has trouble reading it, they can still look at all the beautiful detailed pictures and understand exactly wh ...more
Dec 13, 2009 Diana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Diana by: children's librarian
This is a Norwegian folktale. Jan Brett did research in Norway to write this story. The pictures in this book are amazing and all done by Jan Brett. The story is exciting for children. I looked Jan Brett up on the internet and there are videos of her going into libraries and showing kids how to draw some of the animals in her stories. I enjoyed telling this story to children in a second grade classroom.
The story is reminiscent of any of the fables we grew up with where trolls were involved: mischief and happy endings. The illustrations are exquisite and make the reading all the more enchanting. There is plenty of mischief for the "toddler troll" to imitate, and the story has a happy ending.

Read our full review at the Reading Tub.
Jan Brett never ceases to amaze me. Her stories are interesting and packed full of tidbits about other countries' traditions, customs, clothes, foods, etc.. In this case it's Norway and Christmas Eve. The illustrations are beautiful and stories in and of their own. The story and illustrations make you feel like you're right there and that hot porridge sure does look yummy!
First of all it's Jan Brett. She is always fabulous! This a not a "Christmas" story so don't let the title fool you. It is a winter or holiday story. Good word choice and enough new topics to get your kids excited and asking questions about the ugly trolls and Finmark that you should definitley not give them the answer to! Beautiful graphics and a nice story to boot!
I think it is just me, but I always feel that jan brett's books leave me hanging. I always feel there is more to the story and I'm left hanging. Sigh. The pictures are beyond wonderful, like always. I could just look at the pictures and be satisfied. The story was ok. The kids liked the bear, and loved that he chased the trolls.
Sung Baick
A fun Christmas story to share with the kids. I would recommend this book for pretty much any elementary grade school level. This would be a fun story to just share and have students create their own piece of writing. Also, Jan Brett's books are always good for predictions since she has little pictures that foretell the story.
Read aloud, some of the passages might cause you to trip your tongue. And the story is the most compelling thing I've every read- but it's still worth going over, because Jan Brett's drawing are phenomenal.
Every year, trolls knock down Kyri's door and gobble up her Christmas feast. But this year, the trolls are in for a surprise: a boy and his pet ice bear on their way to Oslo have come in from the cold. And once the ice bear is finished with the trolls, you can bet they won't come knocking next Christmas Eve!

Dec 31, 2009 Dolly rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a wonderful tale, a fairy tale from Norway about Christmas, winter, and mischievous trolls. The illustrations are classic Jan Brett - beautiful scenes and pictures within pictures. Our girls really enjoyed the story - especially how Kyri and the boy were able to trick the trolls.
Lori Smith
The illustrations in this book are amazing! The story is a bonus. This book can be read during the month of December when it is most relevant. Pictures throughout the story can be used to predict what will happen. Students could create their own writing based off of this story as well.
Laura Bang
A Scandinavian tale of devious trolls out to steal Christmas dinner. A girl fends off the trolls with the help of a travelling boy and his pet polar bear. Brett's illustrations are lovely and wintry, and it's great fun to hunt out the smaller details hidden in the pictures.
I loved this book. Poor girl, all she wants to do is have a nice Christmas meal without trolls stealing it. A new friend and an ice bear show up to give her a hand. Christmas books tend to be repetitive, so the trolls being added to this story was a nice twist.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sarah Stumphf
Absolutely beautiful book to capture the attention of readers young and old.
Really enjoy the Nordic winter theme and Jan Bret's wonderful illustrations - the woodwork, the clothing details, the night scenes, northern lights, the polar bear... A huge hit with young children.
Beautiful illustrations. This is not a classic Christmas story, but a fun way nonetheless. I would personally chose to read it aloud to children but probably not as "the" one and only Christmas read aloud.
I love Jan Brett books, and this is no exception. It's a fun story based on the Norwegian troll stories. Even if she didn't write a word, the books are great to read because of her amazing illustrations.
Beautiful story about Kyri and how a new friend and his bear helped rid her home of Christmas trolls for good! Wonderful illustrations! My 2nd graders really liked this story today.
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With over thirty three million books in print, Jan Brett is one of the nation's foremost author illustrators of children's books. Jan lives in a seacoast town in Massachusetts, close to where she grew up. During the summer her family moves to a home in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts.
As a child, Jan Brett decided to be an illustrator and spent many hours reading and drawing. She says, "I reme
More about Jan Brett...
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