The Twelve Days of Christmas

( 1 )

Overview

Oh no! Emma is in trouble!

In this new version of the classic song, Santa comes to the rescue.

Susan Jeffers's artwork sparkles with the excitement of a magical journey, revels in the fun of the twelve preposterous gifts, and brings us home in time for a joyful Christmas morning.

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Overview

Oh no! Emma is in trouble!

In this new version of the classic song, Santa comes to the rescue.

Susan Jeffers's artwork sparkles with the excitement of a magical journey, revels in the fun of the twelve preposterous gifts, and brings us home in time for a joyful Christmas morning.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/16/2013
In the spirit of her 2007 The Nutcracker, Jeffers reinterprets this classic carol, creating a narrative to bolster the song. While snooping on Christmas Eve, Emma discovers a gift from Santa—a snow globe containing a partridge in a pear tree. After she breaks it, she curls up in a chair and dreams that she and Santa accumulate the full complement of gifts from the song while winging his sleigh toward the North Pole. The watercolor-and-ink paintings create an air of holiday magic, and the fantastical parade of gifts thrums with activity and attention-grabbing details, from the eight maids a’milking, whose bonnets match those of their cows, to the dapperly dressed and ethnically diverse lords and ladies who dance across pages bedecked with jewels. Ages 4–8. (Oct.)
The Horn Book
“Lush, detailed...satisfying.”
Booklist Online
With graceful and amusing artwork, this brings new lief to an old favorite.
ALA Booklist
Priase for The Nutcracker: “Jeffers’ lush watercolors...will wholly satisfy families...this treatment will earn curtain calls galore.”
Children's Literature - Barbara L. Talcroft
Shining from the jacket is Emma, one of Jeffers’ charming little girls, holding a snow globe containing a partridge and pears. Swirls of green glitter predict this tale will be a variation or fantasia on the traditional carol about gifts from a true love. On Christmas Eve, green-eyed Emma tiptoes downstairs to peek at a present with her name on it. It is the lovely snow globe, but Emma trips and the glass cracks. Devastated, Emma packs it up and falls asleep in a big armchair. Thus begins her adventure with Santa and the gifts, all twelve of them. Jeffers ignores the traditional words, since Santa is bestowing these presents, nor does she keep the rhythm and repetition of the cumulative song. Emma steps into Santa’s sleigh and away they go, reindeer flying. Gifts appear magically from turtledoves to pipers piping--all keeping pace with the sleigh as it heads for Santa’s workshop. Jeffers paints French hens in little mobcaps, squawking geese losing their eggs, and milkmaids tumbling. The most beautiful spread features nine ladies dancing in a shower of jewels, wearing pastel gowns and hats from the early twentieth century; the leaping lords just cannot match them for elegance. As pipers on horseback line up, Santa escorts Emma into his workshop full of elves and traditional toys; animals, boats, trains, and propeller airplanes. Readers captivated by the adventure will follow eagerly as Santa drives Emma home through a snowy moonlit night, followed by a joyous Christmas morning and a magical discovery. Young viewers and listeners will love the gifts cavorting on big, colorful pages (and spotting them on the Christmas tree), with humorous touches and, of course, Santa and his reindeer. Readers can wait till a later Christmas to tackle the complexities of the song. Reviewer: Barbara L. Talcroft AGERANGE: Ages 4 to 8.
School Library Journal
10/01/2013
PreS-Gr 1—A little girl sneaks a look at a wrapped present on the night before Christmas-a snow globe of a partridge in a pear tree-and accidentally breaks it. Falling asleep, she dreams of Santa giving her a ride on his sled, during which he gives her two turtledoves and all the rest of the traditional gifts in the song. Arriving back at his workshop, he repairs the broken gift, and the girl wakes up to Christmas morning to a wrapped-up, unbroken snow globe. The dream setting of Santa's sleigh above snowy rooftops makes as good a backdrop as any for those odd gifts, from fussy French hens to swans startling the milkmaids and their cows (all wearing fluffy bonnets). Families looking for a singable version of the song will be disappointed, but they will likely enjoy the story and the exuberant, oversize illustrations.—Eva Mitnick, Los Angeles Public Library
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2013-09-01
Jeffers has created a lovely story incorporating the words of the old folk song with one important change: a clever substitution of Santa as the giver of all the gifts instead of the narrator's "true love." A little girl named Emma is the star of this version, and in a dramatic opening sequence, she surreptitiously opens a package on Christmas Eve with her name on it. The gift is a box decorated with pictures of Santa's reindeer, and inside is a musical snow globe with a little partridge and a tiny pear-tree branch. After Emma accidentally breaks the snow globe, she falls asleep, heartbroken--and the reindeer magically fly out of the gift box, pulling Santa's sleigh behind them. Emma climbs aboard, carrying the box with the snow globe, and she is off with Santa, flying on a magical odyssey to find all the animals and characters mentioned in the song. They end up at the North Pole, where Santa repairs her snow globe while Emma is sleeping. When Emma opens her presents on Christmas morning, her intact snow globe is a satisfying surprise. Jeffers uses her signature style to great effect, with varying perspectives, detailed costumes, and light reflecting off snowy surfaces and sparkling jewels (plus Emma's pet Westie). A whimsical, magical interpretation of a holiday classic, improved by the additional storyline and the charming narrator. (artist's note) (Picture book. 3-7)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062066152
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/24/2013
  • Pages: 40
  • Sales rank: 285,341
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: AD650L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 11.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Jeffers, a New York Times bestselling artist, has won the ABBY from the American Booksellers Association, a Caldecott Honor from the American Library Association, and the Pomme d'Or de Bratislava. Her work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Her books, including Brother Eagle, Sister Sky and the perennial bestsellers The Nutcracker and Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, have sold millions of copies and have been published around the world. Susan Jeffers lives in Westchester County, New York.

Susan Jeffers, a New York Times bestselling artist, has won the ABBY from the American Booksellers Association, a Caldecott Honor from the American Library Association, and the Pomme d'Or de Bratislava. Her work has been exhibited in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Her books, including Brother Eagle, Sister Sky and the perennial bestsellers The Nutcracker and Robert Frost's Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, have sold millions of copies and have been published around the world. Susan Jeffers lives in Westchester County, New York.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 6, 2013

    The illustrations are truly stunning in this book.  The water-co

    The illustrations are truly stunning in this book.  The water-colour-and-ink creations paint holiday magic on every page.  The artwork is magical, whimsical and sparkles. The original Christmas song is an accumulative one which means the verses build one on top of another.  Jeffers takes this familiar carol and makes it into a story with the song tucked inside and she changes the lyrics,"My true love gave to me," to "Santa gave to me."  




     Emma, our narrator, is up later than she should be on Christmas Eve and she pokes around the tree until she finds a gift addressed to her from Santa.  She carefully opens it up and discovers a beautiful, musical snow globe that plays the music for "The Twelve Days of Christmas."  She is so pleased and excited and in her enthusiastic joy she stumbles and the snow globe drops and cracks.  She is heartbroken and very upset.  She cradles the fragile, broken globe in her arms, curls up in her favourite chair and instantly falls asleep.  Santa comes and whisks her away in his sleigh and they observe the gifts of the song on their travels to the North Pole.  The twelve pipers piping announce Santa's arrival at his homestead and Emma and he enter, walk through his workshop and sit down in his room to sip cocoa and eat cookies together.  He asks Emma if she needs to share anything with him and she slowly hands over the her broken music box with an explanation of how it got that way.  She once again drifts off to sleep snuggled in Santa's arm chair and dreams that the reindeer are flying her through the air and back home. 




    On Christmas morning Emma wakes up to find a true Christmas miracle and she is very thankful and happy to know that all is well, and that her beloved gift that "Santa gave to me' has been restored.  

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