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The Toys' Night Before Christmas: A Toybox Tale for the Holidays    by Dugald Steer & Susanna Ronchi order for
Toys' Night Before Christmas
by Dugald Steer
Order:  USA  Can
Blue Heron, 2004 (2004)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

This is one in a 'Giant Embossed' series of oversized picture books, with covers that glitter and pages that invite small fingers to feel the textures of the large snowflakes and stars scattered over its pages. 'It was the night before Christmas' and all through the house, everyone is sleeping, except for the Jack-in-the-box in Rosie's room. Jack climbs out, followed by all the other toys, who tiptoe downstairs. What are they up to?

Jack thinks it's not fair that toys don't get presents. The others disagree and go back to bed, but Jack jumps into action (with help from 'a jolly Snowman' and little birds, and someone else very special) to make a real Christmas for his friends. Dugald Steer's story is sweet, but it's the format and the rich, festive detail in Susanna Ronchi's gorgeous illustrations that make The Toys' Night Before Christmas a special and magical choice for the holidays.

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