by Charles Santore
Published by Applesauce Press on September 12th 2017
Style: double page printing
Format: Card cover
Filled with the stunning illustrations that made artist Charles Santore’s picture book edition of The Night Before Christmas a New York Times bestseller, this new Coloring Book edition is sure to light up the gift-giving season.
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The Night Before Christmas Coloring Book Video Review
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The Night Before Christmas Coloring Book Review
The Night before Christmas poem by Clement C Moore was first printed in 1823. However, it was not until 1844, according to online research, that Moore acknowledged he penned the poem. It is now one of the most well known, loved and published Christmas poems of all time. The poem has inspired numerous coloring books in its time as well as other merchandise. Using the poem as inspiration and combining the talents of well known illustrator, Charles Santore was always a natural for a coloring book.
Cover & Layout
The cover of the over sized The Night Before Christmas Coloring Book features Santa with his twinkling blue eyes and lush facial hair. It is the type of Santa that you expect to see in a coloring book. Older with some laugh lines around the face, a small smile lurking behind the beard and full moustache and a look of serenity. Of course, you would be serene when you have the final say on the Naughty and Nice list 🙂
The matte laminate cover has been partially colored so you can see how Santa would look when you add your own colors in. The cover art has also been included in the book for you to color as well. On the back cover the line art features. You can see that it is not a black outline but rather a textured look, which is similar to how it appears in the coloring pages.
The Night Before Christmas coloring book measures approximately 27cm x 27cm and is slighter larger than most coloring books. Although it is larger, it is also thinner measuring in at 48 pages. This follows a format used by Charles Santore with other coloring books based on popular fairy tales. In my mind, I assume that these are created with less pages than you may expect, because these are ideally keepsake books. They are something that you would like to color to give to someone or share with a child or hand down to your grandchildren. If that is the case, having limited images means that the colorist may have a hope of completing a whole book (which is often an extremely difficult task).
On the inside covers, both front and back are colored thumbnails from the book. I have to say that the colored images are a little gloomy to look at but at least they give some idea of color choices you could make. The reason that they are gloomy, of course, is because the theme of the book is set at night time.
At the start of the book is a predominantly text based title page with a small image to color of a candle on a window sill. This is the only place to test out your mediums and see how they perform with the paper.
Printing is on both sides of the white, medium quality paper. The paper has a light tooth to it making it ideal for pencil layering. On one side you will find a few lines from the poem the book is based on and on the other a related image. This means that if you were willing to sacrifice the text being damaged, you could color with markers.
Coloring Book Images and Illustrations
Charles Santore is a brilliant illustrator who manages to capture the essence of the poem. The line art has the sketchy look of hand drawn work with some crisp, black outlines that contrasts nicely. You will find some of his drawings have a lot of grey and soft black shadows added, cross hatching for texture and fine lines.
Colorists that have a minor visual impairment, may find this hand drawn look difficult to see in some images. However, there are a number of images that are a little crisper, featuring black outlines without the “sketchy” appearance that may make it easier to see and color. The wonderful thing about the look is that shadows have already been cast in for you and it is easy to follow along the artist drawn lines to color the scene.
All of the illustrations contained in the book have been carefully crafted to suit the lines of the poem that are on the facing page.
You will find simple Christmas stockings hanging from the mantle that are reflective of the era that the poem originated from. A wide variety of elements to color will help you with techniques for coloring fur, marble, wood, metal and drapery. Of course, the scene is also set in Winter so there are lovely images of snow on the trees to color as well.
Of course the star of the show is Santa and there are so many images of him in different poses – with the reindeer, toy laden sacks, filling stockings, enjoying his pipe and, of course, making his way home to Mrs Claus. I would have liked to see Santa eat all those cookies and milk that are left out but I presume that this tradition may have arisen in more recent times. This year I will certainly be leaving Santa some treats as a bribe to take me off the naughty list he has had me on forever 🙂
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Where to buy The Night Before Christmas Coloring Book
Happy coloring x