Another Night Before Christmas: the ideal gift book

I'm a huge fan of our poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. She manages to magically combine humour and pathos with a gentle, feminine lightness of touch that taps into my emotions. My favourite poem, A Child's Sleep, has incredible power, particularly when I think abot Evie drifting off to sleep at night. I have it pinned to the fridge with a black and white picture of my little one sleeping soundly. The above recently published book, a reworking of the Victorian classic, tells the tale of a little girl the night before Christmas in Duffy's eloquent verse and features delicate illustrations by London-based artist Rob Ryan (another CLB crush). Talk about the perfect combination. £4.99 at

A Child's Sleep

By Carol Ann Duffy

I stood at the edge of my child's sleep

hearing her breathe;

although I could not enter there,

I could not leave.

Her sleep was a small wood,

perfumed with flowers;

dark, peaceful, sacred,

acred in hours.

And she was the spirit that lives

in the heart of such woods;

without time, without history,

wordlessly good.

I spoke her name, a pebble dropped

in the still night,

and saw her stir, both open palms

cupping their soft light;

then went to the window.  The greater dark

outside the room

gazed back, maternal, wise,

with its face of moon.

    1 comment:

    1. This book's going on my next amazon order, it looks perfect for Christmas! I've already got Carol Ann Duffy's 'The Lost Happy Endings' but think my 3 year old will have to wait a few years for that one.
      Another lovely Christmas book is Dear Father Christmas by Alan Durant. It's beautifully illustrated by Vanessa Cabban and has little letters and gifts included.