On Christmas Eve by Margaret Wise Brown

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It was the middle of the night. And the night of all nights it was Christmas.

In the big, quiet house where parents are sleeping, the children wait and listen, thinking of reindeer and angels and stars. Then, with no sound but their own thumping hearts, the children creep downstairs to see the glorious tree and to make a Christmas wish.

Margaret Wise Brown's magical story captures all the wonder and mystery of a child's Christmas Eve. Nancy Edwards Calder's exquisite paintings highlight all the detail that make this night so special.

Christmas Eve has never been so beautiful as in this luminous re-illustration of Margaret Wise Brown’s classic text of three children delighting in the splendor and magic of a traditional Christmas Eve.Glorious paintings by Nancy Edwards Calder bring a glow to each page that captures the warmth and anticipation of this very special night.


About Margaret Wise Brown

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Margaret Wise Brown was born on May 10, 1910 in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York, to Robert Brown, a Vice President at American Manufacturing Company and Maud Brown, a housewife. She attended school in Lausanne, Switzerland for three years, before attending Dana Hall in Wellesley, Massachusetts for two years. In 1928, she began taking classes at Hollis College in Virginia. In 1935, Brown began working at the Bank Street Cooperative School for student teachers. Two years later, her writing career took off with the publication of "When the Wind Blows." Over the course of fourteen years, Brown wrote over one hundred picture books for children. Some of her best known titles include Goodnight Moon, Big Red Barn and Runaway Bunny. Margaret Wise Brown died on November 13, 1952 of an embolism following an operation in Nice, France. Margaret Wise Brown is the author of such beloved classics as Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and Big Red Barn. These, and her many other books continue to delight readers and listeners year after year.Nancy Edwards Calder, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is the illustrator of The Christmas House by Ann Turner. She lives with her husband, Marshall, and her son, Ian, in Huntington Station, NY.
Published October 14, 1974 by Collins. 32 pages
Genres: Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for On Christmas Eve

Publishers Weekly

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Three children sneak out of bed to observe their cozy house awash in the quiet magic of Christmas Eve.

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Common Sense Media

Brown’s soothing prose captures the mystery of a winter night, the special sparkle of a Christmas tree, the hustle and bustle of people caroling and heading to church, and the playfulness of a cat surrounded by ribbons, wrapping paper, and ornaments.

Sep 22 2009 | Read Full Review of On Christmas Eve

The New York Review of Books

— Pamela Paul, The New York Times In Something for Christmas Palmer Brown tells and illustrates with charming pictures in pastel colors an endearing tale about a small mouse who wonders what to give his mother for Christmas and a mother who knows what is the best gift of all—one’s love!

Sep 20 2011 | Read Full Review of On Christmas Eve

Open Salon

Telling the tale of Bad Kitty and the mischief she gets up to on Christmas Eve, this story will have cat lovers nodding sagely as they encounter familiar antics.

Dec 26 2011 | Read Full Review of On Christmas Eve

A Patchwork of Books

And the night of all nights it was Christmas.

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Other forerunners of contemporary Santa Claus include the British Father Christmas, the French Père Noël, the Dutch Sinterklaas, the Danish Jules-Missen, and the Romanian Moș Craicun.3 In 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Moore established the details of just what it is that Santa does ...

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