Parents' Guide to

The Night Before Christmas

By Nancy Davis Kho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 5+

Grab bag of best-loved holiday stories.

Movie NR 2008 73 minutes
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While the content of the stories is uplifting, Scholastic hasn't added much to them by putting them into DVD format. The four main stories rely on slow panning over the book's illustrations as the narrator reads. Viewers have the option to display the text onscreen as the DVD plays, a terrific way to reinforce young readers. And the music complements each story well.

Of the collection, "Kislev" and "Tamales" work best simply because they have suspenseful plots that will keep young viewers wondering how the story will end. "Seven Candles" is useful as an introduction to Kwanzaa, while "The Night Before Christmas" and "The Little Drummer Boy" function like familiar holiday ornaments without which it wouldn't really be Christmas.

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