THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, WITH A COMPLETE SET OF CUT-OUTS OF SANTA AND HIS REINDEER
(TEDDER, Elizabeth) MOORE, Clement C. The Night Before Christmas with Cut-Outs. Racine, Wisconsin: Whitman, 1938. Folio (9 by 12-1/4 inches), original linen-like pictorial paper wrappers. $425.
First edition of this interactive version of the classic Christmas poem, with the intact and attached original page containing paper doll-type "cut-outs" of the reindeer, Santa, and his sleigh meant to be assembled with string.
"Clement C. Moore, a professor of Hebrew, wrote the poem in 1822 as a Christmas gift for his children. A house guest copied it in the fall of 1823, and later sent her copy to the editor of the Troy Sentinel, where it was first published, anonymously, December 23, 1823… Not until St. Nicholas passed through the crucible of Doctor Clement Clarke Moore's mind and imagination did the patron saint of childhood ever ride in a sleigh, or have eight tiny reindeer… Nor was he dressed in furs, nor did he smoke a pipe, nor did he ever get into the homes of good little boys and girls by going down chimneys" (Grolier American 100, 52). This edition is illustrated by Elizabeth Tedder, a popular mid-century children's illustrator who completed a number of books for Whitman.
A few minor spots of foxing and soiling to interior, a few tiny stains and light rubbing to wrappers, and pinpoint foxing to rear wrapper. An bright and extremely good copy, quite uncommon with all the original cut-outs still attached.