An Aussie Night Before Christmas by Yvonne Morrison and Kilmeny Niland, hardback picture book, first published by Scholastic Australia in 2005.
Twas the Night Before Christmas gets a makeover, Aussie style!
An Aussie Night Before Christmas is quintessentially Australian. Everything from possums to water tanks, Pavlova and Shazza, to beer left out for Santa. There is so much nostalgia in this Aussie Christmas story! An old rusty ute pulled by kangaroos, with Santa at the wheel in his red stubby shorts and thongs. This is pretty much how I imagined he would be lying in bed on those hot summer nights of Christmas eves past. And we always left out beer for Santa to drink, because delivering presents all over is thirsty work! Now all he gets is a cup of milk that has probably soured in the heat…
The story follows the basics of the original, but spruced up with Aussie colour. The language is lyrical and quirky; great for sharing aloud and having a bit of a chuckle. The illustrations complement the text perfectly. They are festively bright, and clear yet detailed. Santa’s flowered shirt really is something!
I love this Australian version of an old favourite Christmas poem; it is perfect to share with my children on Christmas Eve. I hope this is a tradition that will continue for many years to come in our family.
An Aussie Night Before Christmas is suitable for all ages, but could be read alone by lower primary school children.