The Twelve Days of Christmas


On the first day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me
A party in a pear tree.

Jane Cabrera's signature animals celebrate Christmas with joy and love in this adaptation of the beloved holiday song. Her cheerful illustrations show magic mice, drumming dogs, skiing squirrels, and a whole crowd of festive creatures. Accompanying the colorful ...

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On the first day of Christmas,
My true love gave to me
A party in a pear tree.

Jane Cabrera's signature animals celebrate Christmas with joy and love in this adaptation of the beloved holiday song. Her cheerful illustrations show magic mice, drumming dogs, skiing squirrels, and a whole crowd of festive creatures. Accompanying the colorful art and jolly text is sheet music set to Cabrera's lyrics.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Cabrera’s jaunty spin on this traditional tune begins when a boy presents his “true love” with a “party in a pear tree”—a rainbow of birds wearing hats and crowns while grooving under a disco ball and joining together in a conga line. In successive wintry scenes, readers meet seven squirrels skiing, 10 snowmen singing, and 12 penguins skating before Santa whisks the boy and girl aloft for a “sleigh ride home.” Creamy colors, rough-looking textures, and thick black outlines continue to be hallmarks of Cabrera’s energetic acrylic artwork. Full lyrics and musical notation are included. Ages 2–5. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Prolific author and illustrator Cabrera (who lives in England’s South Devon) has adapted the traditional English carol for youngest celebrators of the winter holiday. A gallant little boy in a red knitted hat leads his pigtailed friend into a hilly winter landscape to show her a lively party in a pear tree full of birds. They wander through a village, visiting two wildly drumming dogs, three adorable cats, four mice conjuring magical gifts, and on a tall Devon pine, five shining stars. The cumulative song continues, ending with twelve dapper penguins skating on a frozen pond. Though polar bears and white snowmen are appropriate, the stars of the second half are seven bushy-tailed squirrels skiing in pastel gear and nine perky foxes flying down an icy slope on sleds. The eight red-capped elves mixing up cookies, cupcakes, and peppermint sticks are hard to resist, too. The carol ends with a “sleigh ride home for me!” as the boy and girl hitch a ride with Santa and some of the eleven dancing reindeer. Cabrera’s naïve-style adaptation, with its holiday-bright colors painted in snow-textured acrylics, is just right. Little listeners will be able to sing along to the musical score played by an adult or sibling, while flipping back to the opening spread of the entire village to locate all the tiny figures in the lyrics. Kids enchanted by this experience might enjoy visiting Cabrera’s website and blog to see more of her signature style. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft; Ages 2 to 5.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 1—A child's friend gives her what amounts to a rollicking winter wonderland, from "a party in a pear tree" to "7 squirrels skiing" to "10 snowmen singing" until finally she gets a sleigh ride home with Santa. The charm of this adaptation of the traditional folk song lies in the cheerful acrylic illustrations, which feature adorably bright-eyed and animated creatures prancing about in the snow (all except for the "6 bears a-snoozing," of course). Lyrics and music are included at the end. Lots of appeal for young children.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
Cabrera continues her series of modern interpretations of classic children's songs with an updated, chipper version of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" featuring groups of cheerful animals and other cute characters getting ready for Christmas. The little girl in this version of the folk song is surprised by her "true love" (or, more likely, her best pal), who gives her a flock of tiny birds partying in the pear tree. That gift is followed by two drumming dogs, three cute cats and four magic mice. A story unfolds in Cabrera's bold, naïvely styled acrylic paintings, with the little girl and boy and all the animals gathering around an outdoor Christmas tree under five shining stars. As the song continues, other animals join the outdoor winter fun, along with elves a-baking indoors and snowmen outside singing. Following 11 dancing reindeer and 12 skating penguins, Santa arrives in his sleigh to take the little girl and boy back home. This innovative version of the old song should appeal readily to today's children since the animals and their actions are all recognizable. The new words are quite easy to sing, and the musical notation is included in the final pages. There are many picture-book versions of the old song in print, but this bright, sunny variation is good fun for young children, particularly as a sing-along experience. (Picture book. 3-8)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780823428700
  • Publisher: Holiday House, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/1/2013
  • Sales rank: 1,125,627
  • Lexile: AD830L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

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