A New Twist On A True Classic ... "Twas The Fright Before Christmas"
Feb 8, 2006 (Updated Feb 14, 2006)
a Very Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Pros:Exceptional illustrations, enchanting story, great for kids or adults.
The Bottom Line: This is one of the best crossover holiday books I've ever read ... if you are into Christmas and Halloween, this is a book for you!
Recommend this product?
As you may have guessed from previous reviews, I am a huge fan of Halloween and I am always on the lookout for crossover books that combine two holidays. When I saw Twas The Fright Before Christmas I mistook the title and thought that it was Twas The Flight Before Christmas because of all the bats on the cover. I couldnt ask for more from a book, it has all the elements that I love - bats, Christmas, spooky black cats and monsters. The first time I read this story I fell in love with it and recommend it to all my friends that are into similar things. The story is a take on the traditional story, The Night Before Christmas, of course if has a slightly spooky tone to it and is filled with a creepy cast of characters like a mummy, manticore, dragon, werewolf, zombie and of course tons of bats. Even though the book is filled with surreal characters it has a distinctive Christmas feel to it, right down to the holly leaf borders, decorated haunted house and plethora of weird stockings hung by the fire.
Twas The Fright Before Christmas
The story revolves around the inhabitants of the house; there are more than a few of them and they all have their own personalities. The werewolf is the one that gets the ball rolling; he wakes suddenly after something brushed up against him. The manticore defends himself blaming the cat who then shifts the blame to the zombie. But the zombie couldnt be at fault, not, it had to have been the bat but he too has an excuse, the fiend flung his spoon at him causing him to flip, flap and flop around. From the fiend to the mummy then on to the dragon, its a chain reaction that eventually gets traced to the little itty bitty mouse. The first part of the story goes through everyone trying to blame someone else on what happened and why everyone was suddenly woken up and the second part traces the actual line of events. The mouse ends up trying to calm everyone down with a nice spooky story but the bat is the one that insists that it be something gruesome and gory. Of course it ends with that famous line, Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night ..
Theres nothing scary about the story or the drawings so even sensitive kids can get a kick out of this; the text is large and easy to read and kept apart from the illustrations. One thing that really bugs me about some kids books is that the text is all over the place so it is easy to skip over parts of the story. This one has about four lines per page with a lot of interesting things going on in the drawings - one of the many reasons that kids and adults will want to read this over and over. I am a complete sucker for anything Halloween related so I fell in love with this book the first time I flipped through it. Thankfully its a hard cover book so it will last a long time but I do have to admit that I was a little embarrassed when I saw the age recommendation on the back. Harcourt suggests this for those ages three to seven ... man, that makes me feel really, really old. On an up note, this is put out by the same people that made The House That Drac Built, another one of my favorite kids books.
Twas a midwinter eve at the old haunted house
Not a creature was stirring .. well, maybe a mouse
When you hit the first page of the book you get a nice taste of the artwork thats n store for you. These are highly detailed illustrations that capture ever essence of the story and help to make it something that kids will want to read over and over again every holiday season. Seeing the old mansion decked out with candy cane columns and a big red bow gets you into the holiday season no matter what time of year you read this. It wasnt until my third or fourth time flipping through it that I noticed a small Santa standing on the top of the roof, I spotted the sled the first time around but the tiny Santa with the HO [as in Ho, Ho, Ho] sign escaped me. The snowfall, sled in the front yard, candles in the windows and even the snowman on the lawn are all small intrinsic things that really make this more than a cute book to read around Christmas. But theres more than that - when you start to really study the drawings you see so much more - the pink flamingo, names on the signposts, garland that hangs from the windows ... the more you look at them, the more things youll discover.
The Bottom Line
The story is very easy to read and something that kids will fall in love with. The only word they might have trouble with is manticore so they wont need much help with this. To me this is something that is just as much for adults as it is for kids; the story is a complete blast to read and the illustrations add so much to it. Granted there arent going to be a lot of kids that are going to get into the crossover of Halloween type characters in a Christmas story but I am sure that there are some that would. This could be read at Halloween [because of the monsters and Halloween related things] or at Christmas as a nice change of pace from the traditional books and stories.
As always, thanks for the read!
~^V^~ Freak ~^V^~
© 2006 Freak369
Other awesome holiday books for kids ...
For Christmas ...
• Dragon's Merry Christmas • Rookie Read-About Holidays: Christmas • Christmas Ornaments Kids Can Make • Christmas Presents Kids Can Make • Crafts For Christmas • The Christmas Witch: An Italian Legend • The Vampire Who Came For Christmas •
For Halloween ...
• The Hallo-Wiener • Halloween Night on Shivermore Street • Aunt Eaters Mystery Halloween • Minnie And Moo Meet Frankenswine • Fluffys Happy Halloween • The Pumpkin Fair • In The Haunted House • Big Pumpkin • The Thirteen Days of Halloween • My Very Own Halloween • One Witch • The Vampire Rabbit • Witches, Pumpkins, And Grinning Ghosts •
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