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The Night Before the Night Before Christmas

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It's December 23, and Christmas is just around the corner. But one family is having trouble getting its act together. Once again, Natasha Wing follows the rhythms and meter of the classic Christmas poem, yet gives it her own entirely original twist, while paying homage to The Night Before Christmas.

32 pages, Paperback

First published September 1, 2002

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About the author

Natasha Wing

80 books116 followers
Why am I a writer? When I was a young girl, I wanted to be a teacher. I’d line up my stuffed animals in front of a board and teach them the alphabet and how to count. In high school I wanted to be a tennis player. I was on the tennis team, and played at our neighborhood tennis club. Then in college I thought digging dinosaur bones would be a cool job. It wasn’t until I was working at my own public relations agency that I decided I really wanted to write children’s books. I was so inspired by the magic of reading a book that I wanted to see if my active imagination could create magical moments for kids all over the world. I started to write, then sent my stories to publishers, and sold my first manuscript in 1992. I’ve been writing ever since.

Why I write now.

I love the freedom of being my own boss, of coming up with ideas on my own and writing that first draft to see if my idea has any spark. I’m not so crazy about the revising process although there are thrilling moments when I figure out a better way to say something, or when I nail dialog, or work through a complicated plot line. The most exciting moment is when an editor says they want to publish my manuscript. Then I know all my hard work has paid off, and that soon, children will enter my imaginative world through a book.

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Community Reviews

5 stars
344 (49%)
4 stars
197 (28%)
3 stars
112 (16%)
2 stars
24 (3%)
1 star
18 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews
Profile Image for Melki.
6,047 reviews2,391 followers
December 23, 2019
The moral of this one is either don't wait til the last minute to get a tree, decorate it, and visit Santa at the mall, OR learn how to Unplug the Christmas Machine: A Complete Guide to Putting Love and Warmth Back into the Season.

I suppose this might be a good one for those who feel harried around the holidays, but I couldn't help but feel annoyed at this family who had 364 days warning that, uh, yeah - Christmas is coming.
Profile Image for Odessa Green.
16 reviews1 follower
December 24, 2017
Love this entire series, this one was our first purchase in the series and is still our favorite.
Profile Image for La Coccinelle.
2,251 reviews3,563 followers
January 13, 2019
Yes, I know I'm reviewing a Christmas book in the middle of January. Shut up.

I take issue with the synopsis saying that "Wing follows the rhythms and meter of Clement Moore's classic Christmas poem". The rhythms, maybe. The meter? No. Some sections are so clunky that they'd be next to impossible to read aloud without tripping over your own tongue. There are parts that have too many syllables, others that have too few... and in both cases, the flow suffers.

The story of a harried lead-up to Christmas is relatable, but some parts of it just weren't believable: i.e. Patrick. The kid is drawn as a baby, most likely too young to even walk. And yet, he's some sort of wunderkind who can whine: "But I want to see Santa." The fact that he promptly pees on the jolly old man just further proves that he's a baby... so his grammar is ridiculously advanced for someone his age.

The pictures are just okay. They're colourful, but kind of rough in places.

I think I like the idea for this book more than the execution. Oh, well. At least I don't have to worry about getting on the wait list at the library for this book next December!
Profile Image for Set.
1,566 reviews
December 6, 2022
Cute illustrations of a family getting eagerly ready for the big day of Christmas. Lacking the nativity story as the true meaning of Christmas. Mostly just the mundane: shopping, gift giving and food aspect of Christmas.
Profile Image for Kristin Flor.
95 reviews5 followers
September 13, 2023
Literally stopped and read this book while browsing books at my Friends of the Library book sale. It’s cute.
Profile Image for Meg McGregor.
3,945 reviews82 followers
May 18, 2018
A very cute story in the poetic style of The Night Before Christmas.

I particularly enjoyed this part.

"No, it's not sugar-plum,
These things are just stuff.
Christmas is about love,
And we have quite enough."

That is what Christmas should be!

The young girl wonders what a sugar plum is so I decided to look it up!

Sugar plum: 1. a small candy in the shape of a ball or disk : sweetmeat
2. word used to describe someone you care for.

I really enjoyed this story and it brought back many happy memories. The only reason it did not get five stars is because I did not like the illustrations!
Profile Image for Anna.
2,069 reviews12 followers
July 22, 2020
I liked the story more than I liked the illustrations. The illustrations were not the best, but also not the worst. They were just meh, told the story I guess. They are just not my style of art I like. The story however flowed really well and felt like it rhymed, but now I can't remember if it did or not... I also wasn't a fan of the font used in the book of the text. I can still read it, but in my graphic design opinion, it's a very ugly font to use with this story and it doesn't fit well with the story.
47 reviews
December 8, 2017
Nothing is going right for this family of four, on the night before,the night before Christmas! Stockings are singed by the fire, Mom is sick and is not feeling well. Life has been a blur and nothing is ready for Christmas. All the Christmas trees have been picked over, and Chirstmas will be ruined now...... until Dad save the day and says that "Christmas is about love and we have enough." Great for young elementary grades 1st-3rd grade .
Profile Image for Jenifer.
916 reviews9 followers
December 24, 2021
Should be as much a tradition as Twas the Night Before Christmas!
My son and I have been reading this book for years and years. It's cute and funny, has nice illustrations, and adults will totally relate to the hustle and bustle of last minute Christmas hubbub.
This should be the night before the night before traditional read!
4 reviews
December 1, 2018
Absolutely adorable. I grew up reading this book every Christmas Eve Eve. Great for kids. Very funny for adults. Everyone can relate to the chaos that comes with the magic of the holiday season and this book does a great job highlighting that.
Profile Image for Melissa Namba.
2,124 reviews14 followers
September 9, 2019
A super fun book about the chaos and high expectations that we set for ourselves on Christmas. I love that the father is able to refocus the family on the love that they have rather than the disappointments that were met right before Christmas.
30 reviews
April 30, 2020
Very cute Christmas book about the struggles and all the bad things that happen in this little girls house 2 days before Christmas. I think it is a great read it shows the true meaning of this holiday. But this book is definitely a 3rd grade level book.
Profile Image for Valleri.
987 reviews
December 23, 2020
With National Lampoons-ish hilarity, this book throws in a few curveballs to keep readers entertained the whole way through. This could easily become a classic.
Profile Image for Mellanie C.
3,008 reviews3 followers
August 31, 2021
I was fully prepared to hate this, but the author did a ice job with it, abd I appreciated that the lines scanned properly, which can be tricky.
5,870 reviews130 followers
December 24, 2020
The Night Before the Night Before Christmas is a children's picture book written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Mike Lester. It is a book about a family going through the Christmas rush and last minute shopping to make sure everything is done for Christmas Eve. As today is the Eve of Christmas Eve (23 December), I thought it would be apropos to read this book.

Wing's text is simplistic and lyrical. It is written in the style of "The Night Before Christmas". The poem was written especially well and follows the rhythm and style of the original poem rather well too, despite the extra words from the original poem. Lester's illustrations are nicely done and depicted the text well.

The premise of the book is rather straightforward. It is about a family rushing through last minute preparation for Christmas and everything that can go wrong seemingly does. From getting sick, holes in stocking, burned cookies, gift wrapping, tree shopping, last minute gift shopping, and the like. It seems daunting that this family won’t be ready for Christmas Eve in time.

All in all, The Night Before the Night Before Christmas is a wonderful children's book done in the style of "The Night Before Christmas". It is a story about a family rushing through last minute preparations on the day before Christmas Eve.
Profile Image for Laura McLain.
Author 1 book24 followers
December 10, 2011
In this very funny riff on the classic poem, the narrator, a clever young girl, comments on the ironic, hectic preparations for a modern American holiday celebration. One of my favorite passages:

Things will get better, I thought, as I crawled into bed.
Maybe visions of sugarplums will dance in my head.
Instead, I lay wondering, gazing up at the moon.
What on earth is a sugarplum? Is it a candy or prune?

Everything is a disaster, as Mom gets the flu, Dad nearly falls off the ladder hanging lights, bulbs burn out, the cat knocks over the tree, and little brother pees on the mall Santa’s lap. Mom despairs that the holiday is ruined but Dad reminds her of the true meaning of Christmas:

No, it’s not, sugarplum,
These things are just stuff.
Christmas is about love.
And we have quite enough.
Profile Image for Hannah Morrison.
102 reviews
February 22, 2011
A fun book! When I read this to the children I nanny they really enjoyed the rhythm and rhyming. The book does not offer much for diversity but is light and enjoyable, as well as a creative alternative to the original "Night Before Christmas". This book reflects the life most families lead in the days coming to Christmas presently. This again is probably not a book I would use in a class lesson, but would make it available for students to read.
Profile Image for James Jones.
15 reviews1 follower
April 25, 2012
Some kids mom wasn't feeling good and they went to get a tree. She had to throw up. The cookies burned and her Mom needed a big nap but she couldn't get one because she had to do stuff around the house and the dad had to work selling trees for Christmas. They went to see Santa Claus and their stockings got ripped so the girl put up real socks instead of stockings so the toys wouldn't fall out. They read the big girl's favorite story and it started out "Twas the night before Christmas..."
Profile Image for Pam.
1,595 reviews
December 26, 2014
Absolutely everyone can relate to the holiday issues presented in this adorable book written by Natasha Wing and illustrated by Mike Lester. The rhyming text is wonderful and the illustrations are colorful, lively and full of emotions. I just loved the book perhaps because I too was sick for the holidays and illnesses and the stress of the season create disaster. Children and adults will love this book too!
11 reviews
December 8, 2016
This book is a hilarious and cute spin-off of the night before Christmas! It follows the same verse sounds of the original Night Before Christmas but talks about hilarious incidents that happen to this young child and her family. For example they get a charlie brown tree, there's holes in their stockings, and their mom is sick in bed with the flu. If you're looking for something different to read this holiday season, this is the book!
Displaying 1 - 30 of 77 reviews

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