Another title in Natasha Wing’s bestselling Night Before series! It’s the night before New Year’s, and the whole family is determined to stay up until midnight! Everyone’s stocked up on sparkly streamers and festive party hats, but after a night filled with card games and too many cupcakes, the little ones are getting sleepy. . . Can they make it until the clock strikes twelve?
Some parties are worth staying up late for.
New Year’s Eve tends to be an adult-oriented holiday, so I was curious to see how certain traditions from it would be reimagined for preschoolers. Ms. Wing did a wonderful job of explaining what grown-ups do to ring in the new year and how kids can join in on the festivities by drinking sparkling juice or playing with noisemakers. One of my favorite scenes happened early on when the entire family went to a party supply store to buy festive hats, horns, and other stuff for their party. It was such an exciting moment for the main character as he continued to figure out this holiday.
It would have been nice to have a little more plot development. For example, I would have liked to know if this family follows any of the superstitions about what one should or shouldn’t do on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day like ensuring their home was clean and their fridge was filled with food to bring them good luck for the next year. There was a lot of space to include little things like this, and I would have gone with a full five-star rating if they had been.
I adored the warm relationships between the parents and kids in this picture book. Both of the parents were tuned into the needs of their children and did everything they could to ensure their entire family had a wonderful New Year’s Eve celebration at home together. The kids’ excitement for this tradition was adorable and contagious. They were just barely old enough to understand why it’s a special day, so their occasional misunderstandings of what one usually does to ring in the new year were as amusing for readers as they were for their patient parents.
The Night Before New Year’s was a sweet and heartwarming read.