7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #409: Featuring Roger Duvoisin

h1 December 7th, 2014 by jules

“‘Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donder and Blitzen! To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away, all!'”


I’m going vintage today, you all.

Want to know one of my favorite things about this holiday season? Back in September, Knopf re-released Caldecott Medalist Roger Duvoisin’s very tall The Night Before Christmas, which was originally published in 1954.

Duvoisin’s take on the classic Christmas poem includes his vivid colors, robust line, and elegant shapes. Know what I just read in the Publishers Weekly review, too? “The illustrator’s fans may notice that the stuffed yellow lion among Santa’s gifts bears a notable resemblance to Louise Fatio’s The Happy Lion, which Duvoisin illustrated the same year.” Well, huh. That hadn’t occurred to me.

That same review also notes the use of primary colors in Duvoisin’s illustrations here, which you can see for yourself in the images featured here today.

This is one of many Christmas stories Duvoisin illustrated. In the classic American Picturebooks from Noah’s Ark to the Beast Within, Barbara Bader writes, “Nobody celebrates Christmas like Duvoisin — except children.”

Here’s some more art (without the text). Enjoy.

“The children were nestled all snugs in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.”


“As I drew in 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. A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.”


THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Originally published in 1954. Illustrations copyright © 1954 by Roger Duvoisin. New edition published September 2014 by Alfred A. Knopf, New York. Illustrations reproduced by permission of the publisher.

Note for any new readers: 7-Imp’s 7 Kicks is a weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week, whether book-related or not, that happened to you. New kickers are always welcome.

* * * Jules’ Kicks * * *

I have a big ‘ol writing assignment I’m working on now, and I’m holed up today, working on that. Please do tell me your cheery kicks so that, during my breaks, I can come read them. You can even DOUBLE them, if you’re so inclined, to make up for my lack of them this week. (Not that I didn’t have any; I just gotta write write write!)

18 comments to “7-Imp’s 7 Kicks #409: Featuring Roger Duvoisin”

  1. Hi Jules,
    I totally get that writing deadline. May the words flow. And will have check out The Night Before Christmas. I love the many different artistic interpretations.
    My kicks:
    1. Reading fabulous poetry books.
    2. Getting our Chromebook laptops. It’s a new tool for school. Students and myself and staff are all engaged in learning.
    3. Lunch at Multnomah Falls.
    4. The Sing Christmas Tree event.
    5. Time with friends.
    6. Brown Girl Dreaming.
    7. Received a grant for books for library.
    Have a great week.

  2. Jone, may the laptops work out well, and CONGRATS on the grant! That is wonderful news. I’m not surprised to hear it, though, as you’re a super librarian.

  3. p.s. I at least have an outline at this point. That’s SOMEthing!

  4. Good morning, Imps!

    Best of luck with your writing assignment, Jules!

    Jone, congratulations on the grant.

    Looking forward to the premiere of the new TV show The Librarians tonight. 🙂

    My kicks from the past week:
    1 Shortlist
    2 Opening
    3 Kindness
    4 Booking
    5 Music
    6 Clarification
    7 Revisions

  5. Thanks for sharing this artwork today Jules. I have several versions of The Night Before Christmas but not this one. I’ll be adding it to my order. I will be sending the writing fairy your way to assist you in your endeavors.

    Jone: I am so glad your grant came through for you and your students. There can never be too much funding for libraries.

    My kicks:
    1. We have had sun and a little warmer temperatures for two days. It was a balmy 36 yesterday; just about perfect.
    2. We have one book left in our Mock Caldecott unit, Blue on Blue. I got it yesterday and it’s gorgeous.
    3. Book store trip
    4. Deep red carnations
    5. Fresh pine boughs
    6. Finished decorating the house for Christmas
    7. Walks with sweet Xena

    Have a joyous week everyone.

  6. PS
    I am glad you either gave or received kindness Little Willow. We need so much more. 🙂

  7. Jules – hope the words flow with time to spare for that deadline!

    Jone – congrats on the funding! And lunch at Multnomah Falls – yum!

    LW – 3, 5 and 6 are my favorites on your list this week.

    Margie – the smell of fresh pine boughs is so wonderful. And enjoy those walks with Xena!

    My kicks this week:
    1) A celebratory work dinner for a job well done.
    2) A belated birthday dinner (for me) with a good friend at Bar Avignon – it was wonderful.
    3) Catching Cinderella Man on cable and watching it through and crying all over again, just like the first time I saw it – love that movie.
    4) Delivering the first of my Christmas goodie baskets.
    5) Decorating the house for Christmas – and getting and decorating the tree too.
    6) Doing a test run of this double chocolate banana bread for goodie baskets – so. good. Recipe here: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2014/03/double-chocolate-banana-bread/
    7) Dinner and wine with a girlfriend who was having a rough day yesterday. My friendships sustain me, and its so nice that we all have each other to lean on when we need it.
    7.5) Having work with purpose that allows me to make a small difference in my little corner of the world.
    9) The Christmas season – I love it so much.

    Have a happy joyful week everyone!

  8. Happy belated birthday, Rachel!

    Margie: If everyone led with kindness, think how the world would be.

  9. Thanks LW – it was 6 months ago! It just took my friend and I forever to coordinate our schedules for the birthday dinner she wanted to give me. (I have awesome friends.)

    I forgot to add another kick – Daisy in her Christmas outfit! Fingers crossed, there are 2 families interested in her, so here’s hoping one of them will turn out to be her forever home!

  10. I love, love, love vintage off-set books!!

    Jules – Go Jules Go!
    Jone – Brown Girl Dreaming is on my list!
    LW – Clarification, not always easy but nice when you can get it.
    Margie and Rachel – I am just at the very beginning of the decorating. My daughter is annoyed that we didn’t start weeks ago.


    1. I made a big move in my life by giving notice at my office job. As of 2015 I will be a full time illustrator!!!!!!
    2. Thank you to my Impish friends who bought some goodies from my online shops. Anyone who wants to check them out here’s a link to the links 😉 http://moiraswiatkowski.com/print/
    3. Youth basketball has started. Hooray for indoor sports in New England in the winter!
    4. This week begins Nutcracker week for my daughter. I am so proud of her she has come a long way in the 11 months that she has been learning ballet.
    5. Real, from the farm in a glass bottle egg nog.
    6. Came to the end of the line of the Game of Thrones books and now I’m waiting with everyone else for the next one.
    7. It’s starting to look like I’m going to have a big crowd for dinner on the 25th. Hooray!!! and Yikes!

    Have a sugar plum week!

  11. Little Willow, “shortlist.” I’m intrigued! … Let me know how The Librarians is. That’s cable, right? Which I don’t have.

    Margie: Blue on Blue? I MUST LOOK THIS UP!

    And, Rachel, I’ve never heard of Cinderella Man. Hoo boy, I have some books to find and movies to watch. And OH GOSH that bread looks good! THANK YOU for that recipe. And happy belated birthday, even if it was half a year ago. … Crossing fingers for Daisy.

    Moira, that is HUGE news (kick #1). Congrats! Also, I covet your egg nog.

    Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. I made good progress today!

    I hope EVERYone has, as Moira said, a sugar plum week.

  12. Hi Everyone!

    I think I may have to start collecting Night Before Christmas editions. I ordered Lisbeth’s Zwerger’s editions after reading about it here and now this one looks great too!

    Jules- Good luck with your assignment. Hope it is at least on a super interesting topic!
    Jone- Our district is adopting Chromebooks as well. And exciting learning process for sure!
    Little Willow- is there really a show called The Librarian?! How awesome!
    Margie- I haven’t read Blue on Blue yet- sounds like I should add it to my list.
    Rachel- Happy Belated Birthday!
    Moira- Congrats on #1 and egg nog- yum!

    Now on to kicking!
    1. A nice fat Christmas tree.
    2. The smell of the nice fat Christmas tree.
    3. Boots that keep my toes warm on a cold night.
    4. Our town’s Christmas tree lighting.
    5. A run on a cold morning.
    6. Warm blankets.
    7. An awesome new coffee shop in town.

  13. Rachel: Yay for friends. Paws crossed for Daisy!

    Moira: Congratulations and good luck! So proud of you! Tell your daughter I said brava, and I hope she is having a wonderful time.

    Jules: Thanks! It was cool news to get.
    Jules & Stacey: Yes, The Librarians show is on TNT.

  14. Stacey: Mmm. Coffee.

    Sounds like you’re ready for Christmas. I’m not doing too badly myself in that I at least have some presents purchased (earlier than I normally do).

    LW: ! Congrats again!

  15. Love the illustrations in this book! Hope the writing has gone well, Jules!

    Jone I just looked up Multnomah Falls – gorgeous!

    Moira congrats on the big move!! Exciting times!

    I was reading some books set in Alaska and apparently basketball is big there due to the indoor nature of the sport. It must be difficult playing sport when it’s all snowy and icy outside, I think I just assumed everyone played ice hockey or skied everywhere 🙂 Here winter is prime sport season as it’s the dry season and is coolish.

    I lost my list that I had started writing, and haven’t time to write another. But lots of good things going on here, including our toddler thinking that putting up and decorating a Christmas tree in our lounge room was the best idea ever.

  16. Emmaco: Hee. Hope the tree survives the toddler!

  17. Thank you for sharing this book. Love the vintage look and vivid colors. I think the cover with the reindeer lined up along the roof is wonderful. Good luck with the writing. You’ve probably conquered it by now. Kick: Every night, discovering lights a la Charlie Brown or Martha Stewart level makes me feel joy. Something exciting about twinkling lights in the night.

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