The 12 Days of Christmas

Overview

Set in Africa, this beautiful rendition of the classic Christmas carol has a unique twist: colorful icons illustrate the various gifts repeated in each verse of this cumulative song, creating a rebus-style text that gives young children a fun way to follow along and chime in with the lyrics. The gorgeous, wonderfully detailed collage illustrations, comprised of colorful kente cloth and cut paper, feature tribal drummers and dancers, traditional clothing and native wildlife, making every scene as visually striking...

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0399250735 9780399250736

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Overview

Set in Africa, this beautiful rendition of the classic Christmas carol has a unique twist: colorful icons illustrate the various gifts repeated in each verse of this cumulative song, creating a rebus-style text that gives young children a fun way to follow along and chime in with the lyrics. The gorgeous, wonderfully detailed collage illustrations, comprised of colorful kente cloth and cut paper, feature tribal drummers and dancers, traditional clothing and native wildlife, making every scene as visually striking as the last.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As she did in The Night Before Christmas, Isadora uses her trademark collages to reinterpret a holiday standby, setting it in a jubilant African village. Several of the book's flourishes, Isadora notes in an afterword, are inspired by her travels, from five gold rings (worn around a South African woman's neck) to "lords a-leaping" and "ladies dancing" who hail from Mali and Swaziland. Small, accumulative icons that reference the gifts from earlier pages keep the text light and the focus on Isadora's always-vibrant artwork. Ages 3–5. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Susan Treadway M.Ed.
Mali, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, and Swaziland inspire this version of a classic Christmas song with full color illustrations created with oil paint, printed paper, and palette paper. A special rebus feature allows even the youngest child to enjoy repetitive verses while counting representations of African life. The author spent ten years in Africa learning about culture, traditions, and daily living. She has written and illustrated many picture books with an African setting, including Ben's Trumpet which earned a Caldecott Honor. In this rendition for instance, "ten lords a-leaping" represent dancers from Mali, "nine ladies dancing" recall women from Swaziland, "twelve drummers drumming" feature instruments from Ghana and Nigeria, and women in South Africa wear "five gold rings." There is a nice rebus key in the beginning of the book to guide children which is helpfully repeated throughout the song. Distinctive African figures for every rebus interact with animals and aspects from nature. Pages include small, lively silhouettes while bright native patterns dress both children and adults with festive flair. As an interactive read-aloud, this easily launches further study and discussion about the history and personal expressions of many African people. Even though geared for the younger set and quite basic, older children gain a finer understanding about featured countries and cultural aspects when combined with additional age-appropriate resources. Reviewer: Susan Treadway, M.Ed.
School Library Journal
PreS Up—The familiar holiday tune gets a fresh presentation, with Isadora's signature style and verve. The book is set up as a rebus, which means even pre-readers will be able to figure out what's going on. Despite its very European pedigree, the song lends itself well to an African setting. The "five golden rings" refer to the rings worn around the necks of women in South Africa, the "lords a-leaping" come from Mali, and the "ladies dancing" come from Swaziland. The illustrations, done in oil paint, printed paper, and palette paper, are fabulous. This altogether pleasing package is great for a storytime presentation or one-on-one sharing.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

Isadora continues her series of traditional tales (and now, a song) reset in Africa and illustrated with her visually arresting collages that incorporate African fabrics. The words of the song are familiar, but in this interpretation, the maids milk goats and the lords are masked dancers from Mali. Each spread is a surprise: some with children, some with animals, some showing homes or farm yards; the 11 pipers piping parade silhouetted against a setting or rising sun in one gorgeous double-page spread. The clever design uses a rebus format with tiny thumbnail reproductions of all the previous pages to aid in singing along. In all, this change of setting gives the old song new zest. A map and author's note give the locations of many of the illustration sources. (Picture book. 4-7)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780399250736
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/14/2010
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 3 - 5 Years
  • Product dimensions: 10.20 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Rachel Isadora began dancing at the age of eight. She trained at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet and has danced professionally. Rachel lives in New York City with her family.

Rachel Isadora has illustrated many books set in the world of dance and theater, including Opening Night, My Ballet Class, Swan Lake, The Little Match Girl, and Ben's Trumpet, which received the Caldecott Honor Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

Rachel Isadora began dancing at the age of eight. She trained at George Balanchine's School of American Ballet and has danced professionally. Rachel lives in New York City with her family.

Rachel Isadora has illustrated many books set in the world of dance and theater, including Opening Night, My Ballet Class, Swan Lake, The Little Match Girl, and Ben's Trumpet, which received the Caldecott Honor Award and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Award.

copyright © 2000 by Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers. All rights reserved.

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