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The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition

Updated on January 3, 2013

From the Classic Rhyme by Clement C. Moore, and Illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

I discovered this book through the artist, Niroot Puttapipat - someone I personally consider a friend,and have watched in delight since I discovered their artwork on DeviantART. I am an enormous fan of their work, which also prompted me to start trying to seriously draw traditionally again. This very classic Christmas poem has been recreated in a highly original way through Niroot's cut-paper silhouettes and astonishingly fine detail. The dramatic highlight has to be the amazing pop-up at the end of the book, of Father Christmas and his reindeer, arcing across the rooftops.

The original story was published in 1825, as "Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas". Written by Clement C. Moore, it recreated the merry Yuletide Santa Claus and has been republished with various illustrations through the years since then. A classic Christmas story, this is the perfect gift for a child. And with the artwork in this edition, it is is transformed into a highly respectable coffee table book, or cherished gift for an art lover.

You can see various of the illustrations throughout this page, as well as a sample of Niroot's other works. Many of Niroot's illustrations - most of my favourites, actually - are commissions for the Folio Society - for example, Edward FitzGerald's translation of the Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, published this year in a limited edition of 1,000 copies. (This has now sold out - and each copy went for AUS$ 995.00!). I consider this a tragedy, as most of the books end up in private collections, and I'll probably never even see one! (I did recently discover, entirely by chance, that the cover of the book I was reading - Dragonfire, by Charles Ashton - was also illustrated by Niroot. So I have something, at least!

Looking for a Night Before Christmas book that you can add your voice to? Check out the Recordable Night Before Christmas. You can also order the 'A Magical Cut-Paper Edition" from The Book Depository with FREE SHIPPING!

The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition - illustrated by Niroot Puttapipat

And here's the book itself. The Amazon reviews from customers are also quite enchanted with the book - do read them!

The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition
The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition

Delicate cut-paper illustrations let readers peek ahead to the next scene in this elegant edition of a classic poem evoking the anticipation of Christmas Eve.Clement C. Moore’s "Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas," first published in 1825, spurred a revision of Yuletide traditions with its image of a merry Santa Claus beloved by children around the world. Now a cut-paper edition of the poem, with exquisite illustrations by Niroot Puttapipat, elicits the magic of the season through moonlit silhouettes. With scenes that transform with the turn of each page, revealing the fine details and decorations of a festive family home, this keepsake edition features a final pop-up spread that captures all the excitement of a special night.


Front Jacket of The Night Before Christmas - And about the author and artist

Night Before Christmas, Jacket by *Himmapaan
Night Before Christmas, Jacket by *Himmapaan

Clement C. Moore was born in 1779 in New York City and went on to become a philanthropist and professor of theology and ancient languages. He was the father of nine children, for whom he often wrote poetry.

Niroot Puttapipat grew up in Thailand, and now lives in London. Niroot has had a lifelong interest in literature and art - and is very well read - and is the grandchild of a Lanna* Princess. The other generally available book the illustrated was the Muscians of Bremen - in watercolours, rather than silhouettes.

(*The Kingdom of Lanna is now a part of Northern Thailand - more in the Wikipedia article)



The First Spread: 'Twas the night before Christmas - 'Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse

First spread in The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition
First spread in The Night Before Christmas: A Magical Cut-Paper Edition

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;

And mamma in her ’kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,

From the toy soldiers under the rocking horse, to the mice in the attic, the teapot in the study, and the delicate curlicues of the wrought iron stair rail, this first page has plenty to look at and admire.

Scanned from actual book spread. The original silhouettes were drawn in black ink and gouache.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Stunning artwork - frankly, I want this just for the artist.

Santa's On His Way - More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

Santa's on his way!
Santa's on his way!

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

What did you think? - As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;

Write a review, add a comment, or debate someone who disagrees with you.

What did you think?

Rate it, if you dare... - So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

See results

The 6th Spread - And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

The Night Before Christmas, 6th Spread by *Himmapaan
The Night Before Christmas, 6th Spread by *Himmapaan

As I drew my head

and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas

came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur,

from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished

with ashes and soot.

Scanned from actual book spread. The original silhouettes were drawn in black ink and gouache. Pay particular attention to the Christmas tree decorations - from the top down, they illustrate a well known Christmas song and tradition. And can you see Santa Claus in the next room...?

The Final Pop-Up - A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a pedler just opening his pack.

The Amazing Popup of Santa Claus and his Reindeer
The Amazing Popup of Santa Claus and his Reindeer

Santa Claus and his reindeer, flying over the roofs!

The Golden Treasury Bookshop Christmas Window Display - His eyes - how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

Reproduction of the Silhouettes in the Christmas window display of the Golden Treasury Bookshop in Southwest London
Reproduction of the Silhouettes in the Christmas window display of the Golden Treasury Bookshop in Southwest London

The Golden Treasury Bookshop in Southwest London reproduced the silhouettes from the book's illustrations for their 2008 Christmas widnow display!

More Art From Himmapaan - His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

More fantastic cut-paper and watercolour illustrations by Niroot turn up in the books below.

The Final Illustration - He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,

Tailpiece for The Night Before Christmas
Tailpiece for The Night Before Christmas

Tailpiece for The Night Before Christmas, by Clement C. Moore, published by Walker Books, 2007 .
Scanned from actual book page. The original silhouettes were drawn in black ink and gouache.

Other Versions of Clement C. Moore's "The Night Before Christmas" - He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of my

Some for children and some for adults...

The Night Before Christmas Recordable Storybook - From Hallmark

Hallmark brought out these recordable storybooks in 2009 - you can record your voice as you turn the pages, and then your grandchild (or whoever you give it to) can listen to your voice as they read (or look at the pictures!).

They sold out incredibly fast, and could only be found for high prices from people who bought early and were selling them on Amazon. Hopefully they'll bring out more for 2010!

The Night Before Christmas Recordable Story (Hallmark)
The Night Before Christmas Recordable Story (Hallmark)

Now you can read to little loved ones even when you're not there. Our new Recordable Storybooks will preserve and play your voice—or Grandma's, and aunt's, a sister's or a friend's—reading The Night Before Christmas page-by-page for a family treasure that lasts (even after the battery is replaced).


Postscript of utmost importance

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight, "Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night."

If you buy any of the books recommended above, this page automatically makes a donation to the incredible nonprofit, Donors Choose, which helps provide classrooms and students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

Reader Feedback - He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,

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    • BrickHouseFabrics profile image

      BrickHouseFabrics 7 years ago

      Wonderful lens!

    • profile image

      wadestar 7 years ago

      beautiful lens and a beautiful book. Thank you

    • MisterJeremy profile image

      Jeremy 7 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      Nice. I like really well done cut-out and pop-up books! Blessed.

    • RhondaAlbom profile image

      Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Great review of the night before Christmas book. It sure is beautiful book when seen through your eyes. And, I loved the laugh when reading your poll options.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is such a beautiful Christmas lens. We have a snowstorm heading to us tonight, winter isn't done yet. I'm doing pretty good, because I haven't gotten spring fever yet... it'll come.

      Best wishes in 2010,


    • TreasuresBrenda profile image

      Treasures By Brenda 8 years ago from Canada

      Very nicely done; blessed.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 8 years ago from Concord VA

      The Night Before Christmas is my favorite when I was a kid, and I still love it! This book is beautiful! Thanks for blessing my SquidLit lens: Denied! - An Immigration Story. What a nice surprise! :-)

    • groovyfind profile image

      Samantha Devereux 8 years ago from Columbia Mo

      well done!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 8 years ago from Massachusetts

      Very cool and unique looking book. Great gift idea, I'll have to keep this in mind.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 8 years ago

      Very pretty illustrations. You did a good job showcasing them.

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 8 years ago

      Marvelous artwork. I like it a lot - it's the kind of artwork I prefer since it leaves all of us a lot of imagination. And you did a great review!


    • mysticmama lm profile image

      Bambi Watson 8 years ago

      Wonderful review...It's always fun to see differents Artist's interpretations of classic stories & poems.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 8 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      The artwork looks wonderful!