“Can You See What I See? Night before Christmas”
Written and Illustrated by Walter Wick.
Published by Scholastic Inc.
Age: All ages..…..It’s True!
Theme/Topic: Christmas Time, the best time of the year.
Synopsis: The world of children’s literature presents unique challenges to the photographic illustrator. Wondrous events like those depicted in Clement Clarke Moore’s 1823 poem originally titled ‘A Visit from Saint Nicholas” are not readily available to even the most resourceful photographer, and re-enacting such events is not without its difficulties, since reindeer are generally unaccustomed to taking direction from anyone, with the exception, perhaps, of Saint Nicholas himself. And as to the availability of the “jolly old elf,” well, let’s just say he’s a very busy man.
Given the inherent limitations of this reality-based medium, the author decided to adapt the time-honoured classic, now known as “The Night Before Christmas,” as a search-and-find game using photographs of Christmas decorations both old and new; Christmas cookies, candies, and other treats; handmade props and sets; and of course, a mountain of toys. All real objects, but alas, no real reindeer…..
Activities: The beautifully pictured book is itself a delightful activity, when one is left trying to find all the images hidden in these luxurious photos. For each page there is a list (with reference line to the poem), of what there is to find in that particular picture. Combine with the fun of finding such delightful treasures is the learning to count. A wonderful way to help children learn, at such a festive time. In both the front and back of the book is the quaint poem.
Walter Wicks website is also an adventurous place for both young and old alike, to find answers and questions to how he constructed the scenes for many of his photos as well as helping you find the hidden gems you could not find yourself. On his website are links to resources and teacher aids, puzzles, games, videos and more information, through Scholastic Inc, Writer’s Digest, Public Libraries and the SCBWI. He is even having an exhibition of his art and models used from January 28th 2012 – April 22nd 2012 at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich CT06830.
Why I liked this book: The beautiful rich colours of the photos are amazing, almost pop out at you, no wonder I have not given it to anyone.
Walter Wick is also the creator of the “I Spy” books and as I wandered through his website I found it full of amazing information, even a series for the very young called “Seymour series” and how creative one can be to make these pictures look so real, it would have any kid hooked for hours. Yes and I mean, even the BIG kids. How I would love to dabble in his workshop. Actually he’s kind of a “Saint Nick” himself.